As the title implies, this past weekend was a long one. It wasn’t a holiday weekend, and I wasn’t sick – it was long for other reasons. Personal reasons. This weekend I was struggling through a number of thoughts and emotions. This site is MarkMushakian.com, and since that’s my name, sometimes I’m going to use this to explore something I’m dealing with personally. This is a home for creativity, yes, but besides art, comics, music, and movies, there is an even more important element that I hope to deal with from time to time – life.
There have been a couple of events lately that initially spawned this weekend’s events for me, but from there a well of other issues sprang up. These issues are all interwoven, so a straight list isn’t quite possible, but I will try to explain it the best I can – because my eventual conclusions depend on this. A time like this in my previous years would have been nothing more than adolescent frustration, but this weekend I was really looking at my life seriously – as an adult considering his next step. I wasn’t moping or putting myself into a depression – but it did all take its toll. My hygiene and sleep patterns were all messed up. But I came out of it, and that’s why I’m writing this.
Soon after I started back at school this past semester, it started to sink in just how long I was going to be there for. At least 4 years, though through some complications, it may very well be closer to 5 years. For the sake of this story, though, we’ll stick with 4 years. I’ll be 30 years old. This is how my life is gone, there is nobody to blame or curse, and it’s fine. I’m just getting a later start on this part of life than most people, but this issue feeds into another, more personal one – why am I doing this? I am going to school, to earn a degree, to be out on my own and have my adult life. But, and I’ll be honest, that’s not my greatest passion. I came home from my recent trip to the desert just itching to make a western movie. I’m a guy who tells people he makes movies – who’s never made his own movie in his adult life. How can that be? Since I came home from the trip, I had put serious thoughts into forgetting school and following my great passion for making movies. But then I’m back in that endless cycle that I extricated myself from when I finally realized that the movie business was too much of a business for me to get involved in it. So, I sat here this weekend, contemplating these things…a strong desire to create movies, but a lack of direction as to how and to what capacity…a long future of schooling ahead of me. So, quite understandably, I was confused and frustrated. And then there were more problems.
Really, this weekend was a snowball. There were a lot of issues that I haven’t really addressed, and they just accumulated and spilled out all at once. Another one that has been building up is the lack of time vs the amount of things I want to do. This, truthfully, is closest to the heart of what I was dealing with – and that’s “What do I want to do in my life?” In all honesty, I have no idea. I’m a Christian, and I put my faith in God to guide my life where He wants – because that’s the point of life. But personally, and selfishly, there are too many things that I want to do. Not everything I’d like to do is even possible, because one thing may contradict the other. I’d love to live in a small town in Oregon, but I’d also prefer to stay here in Orange County and live in suburbia. I’d like to be a famous Hollywood director/actor, but I’d also like to own a small mom & pop store fixing watches. Haha, granted these are some extremes, but the fact of the matter is… I really don’t know what I want. But that’s my future, and I don’t concern myself with that. Here and now, though, I do know what I want. There are so many things I want to do, creatively and personally, that sitting here thinking about it is a horrible waste of time. And as much as I’d love to have the ability to not sleep or have 52 hours in day to get more things done, that’s not how things are. That’s when it hit me, though. Late Sunday night, that is when I realized the 4 years of college isn’t something I have to struggle through. This time “wasted” isn’t a curse – it’s a blessing.
I have roughly four years until I can graduate and move into a career. That will finally give me the financial freedom to move out on my own, and I’ll be leading my own life. But I started to focus so much on that, that I forgot that I have FOUR YEARS to do whatever I want. I had become so fixated on the endpoint, that I was missing the build up. This website of mine has taken up more of my time than you can probably tell, but that’s ok. I have a guitar, a bass, and a keyboard, and I can’t really play any of them very well, but that’s ok. I have an overabundance of creative ideas, and I have yet to realize 99.5% of them, but that’s ok. What I re-realized this weekend, was that there is no end point. I’m so worried about how long it will take me in school, that I’m forgetting that in that time I can become a great guitar player, or finally buy and learn to play the violin. But it’s not an endpoint, and that’s what I remembered. There are no endpoints. I am a very passionate and focused person, and I can get so intense about a certain endeavor that I push myself too far and burn out. That is what I’ve done lately, between school and my site, and I realized I need to stop that. But that is the result? Why am I typing out this monstrous blog? Why am I asking you, a visitor to my site, to read this? I want to be held accountable. I want to make my plans and desires known, so that I can’t ignore them. I haven’t done it yet (I’m still working on the right system as to how), but within a day or two, I will have a new feature on the main page of my site. On the left side, I am going to present my intentions for the future – my goals. I plan to have it divided into two sections: Ongoing and Long-term. The ongoing goals are ones that I need to keep up on every week – practicing the guitar and the piano, writing every day, Quick Sketches (a new section for this site I’m working on), etc. The long-term goals are things I want to accomplish…eventually. A lot of these may be site related, such as fixing the Site News or implementing new sections. My entire point for doing this is to be honest about what I want, and to share that with all of you, so that I have to answer to you when something goes ignored. I know what my desires are, but I’m too easy to shut up and ignore….hopefully you won’t be 😉
Really, I’ve had epiphanies like this before. I’ve realized before that I need to start doing these things that I love and working towards what I want, but I always get wrapped up on one thing or the other, and that is what I really ended up dealing with this weekend. I’ve been working on a new photo album (the current one is a little too glitchy for me), but last night I went to bed at a decent time, instead of staying up working on it. I’m a little under the weather due to the allergy season, and I knew I needed the extra rest, but with my passionate focus, what I really wanted to do was stay up until all hours of the night working on this new album software. This right here is what I’m trying to work on the most. I may be implementing a program like Joe’s Goals, to keep a daily record of my progress, but the biggest point for me – is just to relax. As long as I’m constantly working towards something, I have to remember that one day I’ll eventually get to the point I want to be…and I won’t even realize how long it took. Practice the guitar every other day, and in a year you’ll be 20x better – and the time will have flown by.
I still have no idea what my future is going to be like – whether I’ll ever make a large-scale movie or whether I’ll never make one with a budget over $500. But that’s ok. I completely burned out from exhaustion this weekend, and it reminded me, like a painful slap in the face, that life is NOT the goal, that there is no end point, but that it’s the journey. As cliche as that sounds 🙂