I don’t.

Personal stress. Work stress. Lots on my plate and I’m struggling to keep it all moving forward with some semblance of smoothness.

Today’s Animation History lecture was part recap/review and part “Ask me whatever you want about the animation industry and I’ll do my best to answer.” I always felt that Sheridan never prepared students for portfolio building, interviews and what was actually happening in the industry and I’ve been trying to make sure these students are better armed as they head through the program here at Seneca.

The questions were honest, revealing and as I answered them I ended up solidifying some ideas in my head that I’ve thought a bit about but never clarified for myself. Near the end, the students finally stumped me. Witty little answers or nuggets of wisdom fell away and I was left up at the front of the class feeling like I was naked at a family gathering or something. It knocked the wind out me and I had to just answer it honestly.

Student: “How do you juggle work stress and a crazy schedule with your free time?”

Jim: “I… I… I don’t.”

(General nervous laughter from the students)

Jim: “Seriously. My aspirations have cost me friends. It’s cost me four relationships. It’s overwhelmed time with my family and time for myself. It’s taken over my schedule, my creativity and my life. It’s something I’m still trying to figure out. Be inspired, be driven but don’t let that wreck everything else around you. Do as I say, not as I do.”

We got beyond that discussion and moved on to other topics. When the class wrapped up the students seemed genuinely happy to get answers to all sorts of questions they had about what their future could hold, good and bad. I was glad I could cut through the crap and give them some real world advice they would remember.

What I said was so true… I AM still trying to figure this all out. All of it. It made me a bit melancholy and reflective, so I figured I should record it while it was fresh. I’m going to have to think on these things tonight. Clear more headspace and get a handle on what I’m doing.

Ironically, I missed Life Drawing again because I was dealing with other things. I have to go next week. I want to hit an evening session as well to make up for lost drawing time. Not sure how possible that will be.

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