End of the Trail

October 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Somehow October is almost over. No idea how that happened or where the time went. It’s been pretty whirlwind.

Last week my cousin came and stayed with me for a couple days. Selfishly I wanted him to stay longer because it feels like ages since I was around someone intelligent, caring, and genuinely interesting. But he’s safely in Florida now with my parents where he can find some peace hopefully and start to get healthy. That’s better for him. 

Last weekend I worked about 27 hours. Five hours after work on Friday, thirteen hours on Saturday plus an overnight stay (with a giant dog who hogged the bed, three cats one of whom slept on my chest, and a tiny kitten who cried all night), then another 9 hours on Saturday. Sure, it’s a lot of money, but I had late walks (10pm) as well as early walks (7am) so I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep, and coming off a stressful work week with a couple nights staying up with my cousin until 2am…. let’s just say, I was beyond exhausted halfway through Saturday but still had to make it through my overnight, all of Sunday, and an early morning dog walk this morning before work. 

Of course, because my life is exciting, I woke up at 5am this morning shaking. I was like “that’s weird… hey, I feel funny…nononononononono” and then proceeded to have buckets of diarrhea followed by buckets of vomiting. Cause that’s fun. Tossed and turned trying to go back to sleep following that *ahem* incident (or incidents…), emailed my bosses telling them I would be late, even though I couldn’t stay in bed much longer than usual anyway since I had to do my dog walk. In the end I was only 30 min late to work but felt ill until I left work to come home at 5.

I’m sure it was all a combination of the late nights with Chris, the stress of the week, the insane workload of the weekend, and all the lack of sleep that made my system more delicate. Anyway, I’ve got big plans for going to bed at a decent hour tonight. Hopefully I can try to get somewhat caught up on sleep… until the two long evening events we have this week/end for the museum that the interns have to work. I’ve got a killer dress for the gala though, so that’s a plus.

So it’s been a tough month, basically. I spent most of this weekend alone because I was too busy with work to be able to join the other interns for all their drinking plans (which I’m not really interested in anyway). Mostly it just made me miss Birmingham. I really did have a good life there. My family was so close, my best friends were there, I was dating a great guy who had fun friends, there were good bars where I actually liked hanging out… All that stuff. The social stuff that I don’t really have here. I’m trying not to become a total recluse, but I just haven’t found my “home” bar here and the social scene is really dissatisfying. Dallas is full of so many rich young people who just care about looks, their tans, their cars, their ridiculously stupid high-heeled shoes. They’re just not my kind of people. I live in a grubbier neighborhood, but I still can’t really afford the drinks at my favorite bar here. Their drink specials consist of $1 off during happy hour. Yeah, no… So I spent most of the weekend wishing I was at home with my friends and favorite bars or at the beach with my family.

I also made a big decision, which I honestly think has been a long time coming. It’s the end of the trail for my museum career. I’m done, I’m over it. Museums are sick institutions and curators are some of the worst people in them. They like being elitist and aloof. They like pandering to old white people with money. They like having everything be about them and their reputations and their interests. It makes me want to scream “Come down from the ivory tower! The ladder you climb to get there every day isn’t made of metal, it’s made of people!”

They’re so out of touch with the world, and they’re even out of touch with their coworkers. Curators are incredibly self-centered, egotistical, irrational, demanding, impatient, and generally impossible people to work with. I don’t get it. I don’t understand how they started out once like me but then ended up like that. I’ve seen it at every museum I’ve ever worked for. I have the skill set to be a very successful curator, I think, but I don’t want it.

Curators schmooze all these rich folks constantly for literally thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, and for what? For a piece of art. For the right frame. For a new wing. Can you imagine the number of people they could help with that money? The number of mouths they could feed, the number of children they could save, the number of scholarships they could award? 

I will always love art. I have absolutely no doubt about that. But I don’t think I can buy into a system of thought like that. I don’t think I can adopt that attitude and still be able to look at myself in the mirror every day. Maybe it’s my youthful idealism, but dammit, I want to HELP people. I want to change someone’s life for the better. I want to help ease at least one person’s suffering, because for a lot of people, that’s all they’ll ever know. They are born into suffering, the live suffering, and they die suffering. I can’t hide behind the marble walls of the museum anymore. It’s time to get real with the world. This is the end of the trail.

I’m still going on my trips to Delaware and Pennsylvania since they’re already booked and I don’t want to forfeit the tickets. Plus the people at Delaware were just so nice and accommodating, I might as well see what they’ve got to offer even though I have zero interest in applying there anymore. (Actually I’m going to see if I can switch my tickets to Birmingham instead without a major penalty). I’ll still apply to Penn, because come on, if they accept me, I’ll gladly get a PhD in Art History and then still change my career path to something more worthwhile than museums. 

New plan is to explore options with AmeriCorps and see where that takes me! Yeehaw.


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