The Residency part II

Currently, there are six artists in residence here at the Studio Kura. Oddly, there are five women and only one man. It's hard to tell if it's because more women apply, or because more women are accepted, but either way, I like it because women are great yay! Our house has three ladies, me included and I think we have a really good house. We have the best house. When I first said that this residency is the first time I'm sort of living alone, I kind of lied, because I'm not living alone at all. Very quickly, we all got into a rhythm with each other and we spend a lot of time with each other, even voluntarily. For a Finn, that sounds a bit strange because I guess I was expecting to be sitting alone in my room and being all artsy but it's possible this situation is very familiar to those with more experiences with residencies. I guess when you're thrown into a new situation, it's natural to bond very deeply with others in the same boat.

Last night we had a dinner at the other residency house. It was fun but I do feel a bit intimidated by the other artists. I guess that was what I was reeling from in my previous rambling post. I've always been second-guessing myself and I always feel my art isn't good enough, whatever good enough is. Listening to all the other artists talking, I felt myself dwarfed. We have so many, so incredibly accomplished artists, like for example Thomas, who is a law professor and is doing a photography project concerning disabled artists. And then I feel like what the hell am I doing here? My work seems very superficial and one-dimensional now.

I feel lucky to see and experience all this but at the same time I feel inadequate and I fear that I will never achieve what all these other people have achieved. Some of them are younger than me and have already achieved much more than I have. Comparing yourselves to other can be so useless and especially doing it like this is really bad for me, but I just can't help it. It's quite natural, I think. How else would you know anything about yourself? How could you know what you are if you don't compare yourself to others? If you could ever only spend time with yourself and look at yourself in the mirror, how could you ever conceptualize yourself?

Nobody ever says anything to about this, though. I really want to stress that. Everybody's been super nice to me, even if I know I can be socially a bit awkward. I really hate interrupting people, or being in the way, so sometimes I come off as being really impolite, because I'm just trying to be unnoticeable. I keep telling people it's very Finnish, and it very well might be, but it's also very me. But I feel we all sort of know each other, in the way only people sharing a profession or a hobby can know each other. We all have our quirks and we all look the other way when we see somebody else's quirk surfacing.

One of the reasons why I came here was to learn more about myself and try to come to grips with myself. I know I should give myself a break. I'm not perfect and that's fine. Except when it's not, says the little voice inside my head. So I haven't really succeeded in giving myself a break, have I? I should try harder with that one. I would rather have a peace of mind than be perfect I guess. Only one of those things is can be achieved, I think.

The crabs don't have a lot to do with this post. I saw them the other day, scuttling about on the little road behind our house. They saw me and freaked out and then they walked closer to each other and I swear, they reached out their claws to touch each other! It looked like they were comforting each other and then the bigger one maybe was trying to protect the smaller one. So I guess they were sort of connecting with each other, like we're connecting with each other here at the residency, you know. Totally deep.


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