this piece was originally written in 2016.
so much has changed since then. even my name but sometimes, somehow, i still feel this way. luckily, i'm much easier on myself now. but i still have room to grow.
it’s coming. “hi. i'm kelsi.” i know it’s coming. “nice to meet you, too.” i can feel it creeping up. “huh? me? what do i do? i live life like i’m born for it.” i try to evade the question but it seldom works. i don’t know why i feel like i owe people an answer. i know i don’t but it’s much easier to give evasive answers to someone you already know. for some reason, it’s much easier to stand firm and set your boundaries.
supposedly easy questions
i haven’t felt so out of place, so unable to answer simple questions since i was going through my divorce.
“it was all i could muster up. no last name. like prince. because i’m still trying to figure out who i am and what my last name is going to be.”
here i was in a professional workshop where we had to introduce ourselves. everyone else answers like a normal person with complete and utter conviction, giving their first and last name. then my turn rolls around. who me? what’s my name? “kelsi.” it was all i could muster up. no last name. like prince. because i’m still trying to figure out who i am and what my last name is going to be. the only knowledge i have at this point is “kelsi”. period.
i feel like that right now. stuck in the middle of this transition. trying to enjoy it. trying to be patient with myself. but it’s hard. especially when i accept (not get but accept) pressure from outsiders to answer such supposedly easy questions.
he continues to pry. “so, do you do art?” i respond, “i am art.” see. i’ve perfected the clever comebacks. that should be enough, right? nope. he turns to my friend. “is she an artist?” my friend confirms that i am. “what kind of art do you do?” man. what more do you want from me?! “i’m into film. and fashion.” now the questions roll in even faster. “what kind of films do you do? do you have a company? there’s no market here unless you do bongo films. do you do bongo films? do you self finance? do you have a you tube channel? why not?” SERIOUSLY?! stop talking so fast, man. i don’t know. i’m still trying to figure this out.
i start to explain to him that i started off as a filmmaker. i have a degree in film and i’ve been on a different career path for the past ten years. and now, the universe has brought me full circle. he pauses and finally listens. just when i think he might actually get it…”ten years is a long time. so much has happened since then. there’s so much for you to learn. you gotta catch up.” what is your problem, dude? you think i don’t know that?
i'm practicing patience.
it’s such a scary thing to put yourself out there as an artist. i never got used to it in film school. nowadays, it’s even worse. not only am i the new kid on the block but…i’m the oldest new kid on the block. and it’s even scarier now. because i have this degree, people somehow hold it over my head like i’m supposed to know everything. how much do you remember from ten years ago? that you haven’t practiced? i don’t know much now. i don’t know much about anything. where i’m going. how i’ll get there. what ways i’ll express my voice. what i do know is that i’m in transition. i’m putting myself in a position to be a learner. i’m going back to square one and i’m seizing every creative learning opportunity life brings me, just so the universe can know i’m serious. and it’s working. the opportunities are flying in.
i’m in transition. i don’t have a response to the simplest questions. i can’t tell you the most mundane of answers because the universe hasn’t revealed them to me, yet. but what i do know is that the answers will get here right on time. just like my name. i’m learning my new identity one day at a time. and that’s okay. i’m practicing patience. why? because you can’t rush the process of rewriting your life.