Tuesday, April 8, 2008

my experience with drawing - being favorite

I just realised, through participating on forum, that there exist an urge inside me to be someones favorite, to be liked best or better than the rest. Again this don't fit with my perceived self-image... I have always been looking for someone who would see only me, who would see me above the rest. In this way I needed my friends, who were mostly girls - supposedly to be best friends with. This started with Katrijn, then with L., then with H. and even with my sisters - leila mostly. So where does this originate? With my mother perhaps? As soon as the person I have chosen to like me best - suddenly appears to not like me best, I fall in depression and lostness. There seem no reason for me to be around then anymore. This also tie in with my irritation over Leila always sitting on my mothers lap. I would see this as leila being the new favorite of my mother. Is this the reason why I would make drawings? To obsessively devellop my drawingskills? So that in her being pleased with my drawings, she would pick me over my sisters again? I would copy and copy the same picture until the "match" would be perfect to my eye. The drawing is definately linked to wanting to be favorite. As I defined myself as being the best drawer/tekenaar in my class - I remember how threatened I felt when in saturdays academy I would be confronted with children who could also draw "superbly", the same situation in artschool/public school. in primary school once I was making a drawing and a girl of another class came to look at it and said: "Way is better." this is the same Way, incidentally, of the vampire-game story.

In saturdays academy - I develloped a "strange" pattern. I would enjoy myself the first hour or so and then I'd put my pencil down and just sit around the rest of the hours. I actually didn't like it there... I didn't enjoy myself there. The other children apparently took pleasure in drawing - they could keep themselves busy for hours. me, after a while I'd be copletely bored. I felt bad inside - the only thing I liked is when the teacher(s) gave me attention. But they were more often busy with the other children, who were prepared to keep on drawing. For me - once a drawing was finished - I ought to receive my congratulations that that would be the end of it. But when the teacher ask me: so, what are you going to do next? I was wtf? Is my drawing "not good enough"? Apparently the teacher didn't care at how beautifull or magnificent it was - I just had to make more, do more. For me there was no point in this. This was no way of rewarding me! Because I was being put on the same level as the children who were "not as good as me". So suddenly the fact I wa such a magnificent drawer, didn't make any difference! hats why I would just sit around feeling disappointed, after a while. There was a period in my life - as a child - where I was convinced I was simply the best drawer in the world. This was in primary school - where in terms of preciseness and "realness", indeed nobody could "beat me" in the whole school. my "position" was undisputed. Therefore - from my perspective - going to a public artschool was the worst that could ever have happened to me. Because in being introduced in the 'artworld' and artculture, I started to feel rather small and unnoticable. From the moment I saw/found somebody who would simply be better than me - I would feel anxiety and panic in my stomach. From the moment I had seen a "better drawing from someone else" I would stop liking my own drawings - it became worthless rubbish.

When at my new school, the teachers would no longer see me or acknowledge me as being so special - from second grade onwards, I would start feeling rubbish myself. The drawing talent had been my "card", the one with which I would always be able to remain in my position of "outstandingness". This was also the only thing I believed I was good at. In losing this - I realised I was no different from the others - average was not good enough for me, not good enough at all. I had been living in a dreamworld, and this to me was untolerable. I had allways expected my life to go smooth and all by itself - because everywhere I went, I was the best drawer. Off course I would become an artist - I said this so many times as a child. In losing my card, I seem to have lost my future - which was pure bliss and outstandingness. If I was not that good at drawing as I had imagined - did I then even HAVE a future? What kind of a life would that be? It was as if there was nothing for me in the world anymore. This was the only thing which I believed made me worth something - and this worth I believed could not be taken away from me - and now it revealed itself to be rubbish. Rubbish, because there were so many people who were much more talented than me... All my hopes, were like a train going on one single track, and now it got completely jammed. Obviously this "cathastrophe" which I could not find any solution to, played a major role in me playing the suicide-act, in 3rd grade, and all the rest that followed subsequently.

With writing I simply continued the same pattern. I suddenly discovered - after receiving a compliment for a story we had to write for school (my "style" resembled very much that of herman Brusselmans - who was the only novelist I read, and he was my favorite writer, as I didn't know of anything else.) - that I maybe should write now. Because I had had much fun in this story. I actually believed this was "something different". When about 17 I would start writing novels all the time (20 pages or so, never finishing anything). In the writing I received a lot of "positive feedback", people encouraging me to go on with this. ("you have talent !") Unbenownst to myself I had ended up on the exact same track - there where I had left of. The illusion I am the best. In the enviroment I was in - even in artschool - I could take advantage of this newly discovered talent - there I had a brand new card I could thrive on, the Joker I had unexpectedly pulled out of my sleeve. Guess what, I was the "best writer" I knew. I wonder what I would have done if no such card had surfaced? Because myself I was very surprised by this. Like, wow cool, where does this come from? So I wrote and wrote and wrote my ass of - short stories and wanna be novels. Why? To be the undisputed absolute favorite again. Yep. What amazes me is how long this worked out. I started reading a lot of different novels, to learn how to write more beautifully, perfectly. To me it was always about perfection. In the drawing as well as in the writing. It had to be watertight. So there was much work to do, as my enviroment, even though being very enthousiastic and supportive, also gave me loads of critisism, which every time again would knock me down, but as I had no choice - considering the track I was on forever - I had to then improve myself. And in this, I was certain, one day I would become the very best. This was my life-investment. This also determined my choice of doing philosophy, if anything, to broaden my perspective on reality - because writing was about "imitating and creating reality." The writers which amazed me most and struck me as being "the best" had a very "philosophical dept" in their writing, which was connected to knowledge. Therefore, I had to "cath up with this" and do philosophy - so as to one day in the future, become the best writer in the world - in my world - to be famous. (In the drwaing years this had also been my expectation - that I'd be famous.)

It is so clear now how i functioned. I would write - write to finish a story and then let people read it. In this showing of my story I would everytime hope people would go: "wow this is just amazing! You're a genius !" But this never happened. In general people would be enthousiastic about parts of it, or even sometimes about most of it, but then there was allways something wrong with it in the end. So after the initial blow and emarrasment, I would then go and fix this "ugly spot" - but then it would still be no good and I would ten say ok, I'm just gonna write a comlplete new one, this time it will be perfect - and so this continued for years.

It is a loop - this endevour - a cyclical movement which lead nowhere. Why? Because I was "looking for something" in the fucking wrong place. It is fascinating how I coud keep myself to believe the goal I was after could actually be attained. The thing is - as long as I don't attain "the goal" I can keep on believing it exists and it is actually this goal I need and will solve my "problem." If it is the meaning of life to just endlessly keep ourselves busy, then yes, in the mind is where you need to be. The mind is not freedom. It is slavery - slavery to illusion.

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