Its been a while since I've had a revelation. Particularly through the deepest and darkest depths of my final year, anything other than coursework that involved more than an amoeba level of brain activity was left for a rainy day. I was enveloped by the bubble of campus as it swelled around me, warm and womb-like. News of the outside world tended to hit the outside skin and was deflected as if hitting a forcefield, not through disregard, but through a sheer inability to compute. Basic automatic tasks could be dealt with - cooking, shopping, laundry, whilst my dissertation swirled inside my head, seeming to mimic my clothes as they made a similar journey around the drum of the washing machine.
Having lived my life like this since October, finishing my degree left me feeling slightly empty. There was no jumping up and down, no crying, no whooping or hollering. The ceremonial opening of my results was met by what I can only describe as a slight noise at the back of my throat.
Then comes the avalanche of expectancy. By this I mean the sudden popularity of the phrase 'so... what are you going to do now??!' by everyone in your direct vacinity and further. The next person who asks me that question will get the death stare.
It is very common as a graduate to get that wobbly moment. Especially in the arts, there are no pre-prescribed jobs. No accountancy apprentiship schemes, no NHS shortages. But perhaps that's the exciting thing about it. No journey in an artistic career is linear or sometimes even logical.
I was in class the other day led by dance artist Matthias Sperling, who draws a lot of influence from performance artist and teacher Deborah Hay. During this session he kept repeating the phrase 'get what you need'. In terms of improvisation this can be translated as doing what your body wants to do rather than what your mind tells it. But it got me thinking about other aspects of life, and that maybe the most important thing is getting what you need.
Some people need stability, some people need to use logic, some people need to be around people. Its been a slow realisation for me that my need is in creativity. As artists, if we boil down our ultimate desires and aspirations to a single aspect, a whole world of new opportunities open up. In my opinion, a couple of key ingredients for happiness can help you find stimulation in the most unlikely of places.
If we concentrate on getting the very basics of what we need, we can learn so much along the way. So when the next person asks what I'm going to do now, I'll answer 'I'm getting what I need out of life, are you?'.