Pandemic assents time and space for Drew to ponder. With stricter lockdown regulations and protocols, as Covid-19 cases soar to millions worldwide, Drew eventually finds comfort remaining home and works online.
Drew looks back to his younger days, remembering how he wanted to become an animator or illustrator. A passion meaningful to him than being an engineer. Ironic how the same youthful ambition keeps him going now.
At the start of his high school years, his family encouraged his options in a course that he did not particularly have a passion for, like law, business, or engineering. He could not forget the day the entire class laughed when he wrote to become an animator in his chosen career.
These encounters shifted him away from his formerly desired choice- and interest.
Eventually, he stopped doodling at the back of his notebook and filled them with formulas; filled them with scholarly words; filled them with the knowledge he did not find engaging at all. But everyone seemed to praise him for it. Although not the best, he tried to top the class each time. Acing his way through high school- but at the cost of his passion for the arts.
Forward some years later, in college, where he was taking up engineering. He sacrificed a lot already. He did his best- working hard for something that was not his joy. Drew ended up failing. Sure, he must sacrifice for it, but there is only so much hard work for him to do, at least for him. It honestly had not been working out for him since that college life. He succumbed to depression now and then, without everyone knowing.
At the moment, he seeks redemption through improving his art. He takes it seriously with enthusiasm and passion. He is making himself up for it because he knew people come and go. It goes the same for their support. He must learn to stand on his own. No denying people have been walking out of his life. If he turns back away from himself, it will be over. Young as he is, he has some handful of regrets in life, and the biggest one yet is not believing himself!
Not to mention the complexity of the current pandemic, politics, state of the entire nation, and the world. It prompts Drew to ask himself, what is to be my place under the sun?
That’s why he is clinging so hard to this career. It is quite a demanding job in terms of time and skills. Competition is tough. Drew doesn’t have enough income. But Drew hangs on and struggles for it because it’s like him telling himself not to give up on himself when everyone else does.
He feels delighted when somebody says they like his art. Or if they commission him. Or even if they request free artwork. Because then he acknowledges that there are still people who believe and fuel his hope.
Pandemic times are challenging enough. People all flock online to find jobs and opportunities, but Drew is fearless now. He is confident with some time he will improve and make that break as an artist.
Zea Perez lives in the Philippines. She writes children’s stories. But only now did she dare to share some of her writings. She has some pieces published at Flash Fiction North, Literary Yard, and soon at TEA. She also writes reviews for Booktasters and Goodreads.