Oh boy I am tired. I feel like Tharp when she describes the white empty dance room that awaits genius to overtake her. But unlike her feelings of excitement, my emotions were mostly dominated by dread and foreboding. I think everyone can relate to the awful feeling of being stumped and not loving where your ideas are going. My brain might have blocked out bad memories from the past, but I really don’t remember struggling this hard during the gateway course. Maybe it’s because this is our senior year and I really want to create something worth looking back on or maybe it’s because senior year in itself is a busy, stressful time. Whatever the reason, I have been thinking and rethinking my project proposal until the very last second.
A tactic I always engage in when I’m feeling stuck is avoidance. I know, not very productive, but why not put off today what you can do tomorrow? At least, that’s how I read that saying when I’m at a standstill. As I was going through this process I was also going through it with my communications capstone course in trying to decide a paper topic that discussed material we had learned thus far. I was equally stumped and after my regular period of avoidance (up until the last possible second), I started talking. I called up my dad and sparked a conversation about the class subject and asked what he thought about those things. Then I talked to my boyfriend who gave me an initial spark of hope (that ultimately turned into a dead end, but still led me somewhere!) and finally I talked to myself and put something together that was totally mine. I just needed some other voices to get my creative juices flowing.
So, that is exactly what I did for this project proposal. I talked to my roommate, my mom, my dad, anyone who would listen really and asked them what they thought of when they thought of me. I was trying to gauge my interests through other peoples eyes, which might seem silly considering we know ourselves the best, but when I’m stuck like this, I find it helps to just hear any sort of feedback. I didn’t get my idea from any of the conversations I had, but that wasn’t entirely the point. Everyone I spoke with sent me in a new direction until I stumbled onto something of my own. Something that stuck, because I came up with it myself. But if it weren’t for those other voices and conversations, I wouldn’t have taken the many many turns it took to get to my destination. And I’m still turning.