"I have work. Then a dinner thing, and then I am busy trying to become who I am." - Hannah, Girls

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Art is to Vegetables as Entertainment is to Dessert

On Tuesday, I had my creative writing class. I can already tell I'm going to like my teacher and classmates. And I already know I love writing, but sometimes writing can be hard. Sometimes writing is the last thing I want to do, even though I know I will thank myself after I've written something.

My teacher said, "Art is like vegetables and Entertainment is like dessert."

He immediately starting backtracking, not wanting students to think his class is like a dirty parsnip. He explained what he meant to the room, but I already understood the comparison.

When I have free time, I get giddy over all the possibilities. I could sit on the couch for hours and watch reality tv. I could paint canvases for my apartment. Deciding to watch the Kardashians or be productive is exciting. The moment before you do anything is the best part. It's like waiting for something to come out of the oven.  Or watching the clock in your final class before the weekend. (Read Ode to A Grecian Urn.)

Here's me staring at the oven. Whether your roasting vegetables or baking cookies, anticipation can stink, but truthfully, the waiting before the thing is the best thing.

 I'm red and flushed because my kitchen is hot as shit.

So let's say I pull out dessert out of the oven...or I decide to spend all day watching TV. I will be mad at myself the next day. Dessert is like entertainment because it's the easy choice. It's easy to pick an instant of pleasure over prolonged satisfaction. That cake tastes good in the moment, but 8 slices of it won't make you feel good the next morning. One episode is fine, but an entire season in one day isn't the right choice. Dessert and entertainment are great in moderation, but too much of it isn't healthy.

But if I pull out vegetables...or decide to make art. I will be happier the next day. Vegetables are like art because it takes time to see the longterm rewards. But if I eat more vegetables and create more art, I will eventually see the good. I could labor over a drawing or essay for days and hate every second of it. But once I'm done, I will say every moment of work was worth it.

And after eating a substantial amount of vegetables, or making enough art, you actually crave it. I crave brussels sprouts every day. I'm trying to create more, so I can get to the point where I crave the actual act of drawing and writing.

The best way to remind myself to make the better choice, the choice I'll be proud of a week from now is this formula:

PB with anything is really my kryptonite, but too much of it is like a combination of reality TV, Facebook, and Instagram. They both end in regret.

So create more things! Eat more vegetables! Know that entertainment and Peanut butter are best in moderation and not in mass. Bulk up those brussels and break out your canvases, Picasso Veggie Pants is in town.

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