Note: I originally wrote this a few months ago, but didn’t know how to finish it. Now I do.

Tonight, I started out in a skeeball tournament ranked 3rd in the league. I was scheduled to play a best-of-three match against a 30 seed.

I could make a bunch of excuses on how I might have practiced too much and tired out my arm. Or how it felt different from practice and I didn’t take the time to emotionally center myself for peak performance. Or that the roller I was playing against had an average about 30 points below mine, but rolled really well.

But regardless of all of that, at the end of the day, I lost in the first round, and left to go get some work done back at home that I wanted to get to.

Lessons learned this evening:

  1. If your heart/subconscious isn’t in a game, you’re not going to perform well.
  2. Maybe my interest in skeeball isn’t what it used to be.

I’m feeling really burnt out. Besides being behind on grading, I’m tired and I feel like I’ve been prioritizing things that I should do rather than things I want to do.

I really want to crack open my new 5lb box of Monster Clay and start sculpting something. I want to ink a large 18×24″ drawing I’ve done and convert it into the basis of a new screenprint. I want to paint with the new oil paints (Rive Guache and #Greener for Oils medium) that I got a few weeks ago.

Although, this makes me totally think about the idea of being a professional. A professional ships, even if they don’t like to. A professional does the work, puts in the emotional labor, even if they’re feeling burnt out, or tired, or blocked.

But that also makes me contemplate the discourse between art and money. If making art or playing skeeball becomes a chore, then why keep doing it? Perhaps the real choice I have to make is do I create because I like to create, or do I create to hopefully do this as my life’s work?

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