I Stopped Blogging

Why did I stop blogging? I love blogging. It’s meant a lot to me. Been a great source of comfort and practical writing practice as well. I feel that upon entering a (snooty) post-secondary writing program I absorbed the elitist idea that a blog of this nature – a personal, ramble-esque site – was not suitable for someone desiring to be a professional writer. Like this was juvenile and overly emotional (too woman-y) and that as someone presumably pursuing high level literary writing, was too amateur.

No one outright said it but I knew there’d be snickers if I said I had a blog. In my adult life I’ve become someone who cares very much what others think. What a waste. I don’t know how it happened. It’s not me. As the saying goes, I give zero fucks. I’m learning to hoard my fucks once more. They’re not for you, fools!

So, writing. I’m writing fairly regularly otherwise, though. Ah, also, this blog required an assumption that somewhere out there was an audience who would value my work. I lost that as well. I’ve stopped feeling that people could connect to what I had to say. It’s amazing how poisonous educational institutions can be. Although it’s not so much that as being in the wrong crowd. Mindless pseudo-intellectuals, the modern scholars who can’t decipher an idea from a belch, an emotion from Tabasco induced heartburn. The Fools.

I’ve been working to wash myself of their ignorant tar, but I am covered in fingerprints. Slowly, I am cleansing myself. It is working. And I must remember, it is worth it. It’s too easy to lose ourselves, to forget even the most fervent fires within us, to let them become extinguished. A constant danger, and more so for those whose fires burn brighter, because they are a threat.

Okay, enough. I feel encouraged now. There’s something to simply sharing something, to letting it out. Cyberspace is strange and useful in this way.

A New Year, dear followers! New words. New life.

 

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Insight into Crushes

EDIT: This crush lasted roughly two weeks, morphed into a far more intense crush/genuine feelings for someone else (fully unrequited, of course). Nonetheless, insights still valid. 

So, I’ve developed a crush. It’s almost certainly something which will lead no where, as I rarely see the person in question, but, no matter, my imagination has gone full swing and we are rather happy together in his parents lakeside cottage. Yeah…

Of course, there are a million problems with crushes. The giddiness, the time lost to day dreaming, the stupidification which suddenly occurs when they’re around, the bumbling, the endless smiling, all that. If we do find the courage to announce our amorous feelings, the pang of rejection is less of a pang than multiple square hits in the face, neck, chest, and groin. Aside from this, however, is something else. In dreaming, we are reminded of what we are missing.

Dreaming  can be delightful, but now I’m finding it creates a rather raw spot in me, a place which acknowledges what I’m aching for. Sure, I’m aching for this particular individual, their specific qualities and characteristics, but really, I’m aching for intimacy. The person is somewhat irrelevant, we get crushes and fixations all the time, and they highlight something we’re missing. I miss companionship. I miss connection. I miss having someone feel I add deep value to their life. I do have various good friendships, but most are long-distance, which takes its toll. I am lonely.

I’ve been lonely for most of my life, so big deal, nothing new. Most people are lonely (in our culture at least.) But when my beguiled inner YouTube shows me little clips of what life could be like, that I could have someone to go hiking with on weekends, to share my thoughts and feelings that run deeper than “I’m fine, work is good”, the excitement of getting to know someone, cataloguing their favourite songs in my mind,  hearing the stories of their life for the first time, I ache.

To an extent, it’s not so much the romantic angle, but the potential for meaningful connection, and my lack thereof, which causes the rippling tug of longing in my chest. Romance is a quagmire of doom at best, although there is something unique to those connections. It’s a different set of promises said a friend, after asking her what makes friendships and romantic partnerships differ. It is all love, after all, but the structure of platonic and amorous pairings are not the same. So maybe, in spite of myself, I do want that specifically.

There’s that other problem, though not unique to crushes. Feeling stupid. I feel so stupid to even in the privacy of my mind envision happiness. There is so much shame in being human. False shame; there’s nothing wrong with the bits of fluff which get us through the day, but calling them fluff minimises so much. There’s nothing wrong with wanting love, with wanting more than you have. We’re conditioned to call self-pity! at any show of introspective assessment, but it’s important. Acknowledge what is and what isn’t. Value what is and cry over what isn’t. Then, keep going.

I leave you with perhaps the perfect person for such musings, Adele:

“Everybody tells me it’s ’bout time that I moved on
And I need to learn to lighten up and learn how to be young
But my heart is a valley, it’s so shallow and man made
I’m scared to death if I let you in that you’ll see I’m just a fake
Sometimes I feel lonely in the arms of your touch
But I know that’s just me cause nothing ever is enough”

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Empty and Starving: Amendments

I am not whiny. Sharing is not whining. Whining is a repeated lament which demands more space than what is warranted. Sharing is an offering, be it joy or pain, whimsy or misery. I have much misery to share, but I have always found value in the honesty and candour of others, so why wouldn’t mine have similar value to others? Why should I beany less?

We are taught to be very reactive to shows of confidence and displays  of self-worth. We are taught to distrust them and knock them down, especially if displayed by women. We are taught to allow egotistical shows of power and self-indulgence and confuse them with true courage or strength. I have internalized the world so well, so deeply, that my own values are bound, seemingly irrevocably, with those I despise. What is left of me?

I feel so drained of vitality, of human feeling. I feel like an open wound pulsing red and raw, hot with the shame of exposure, waiting to succumb to infection. I feel like a corpse covered in lead powder and perfume, playing the part to a room of fools who can no longer tell the difference between living and dead. I feel sad that I can only discover my true self in writing, and otherwise fool myself with the aforementioned deceits.

I feel robbed of everything. I am fighting to rebuild.

 

 

 

 

 

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Empty and Starving

Maybe after a point pontificating is simply whiny. Of course it is. That’s why the abstract philosophe is so popular among young emotional types. It’s an easy way to continue being scared of life and ones own inner self because you can project the sense of having no substance onto other things and feel smart and special. I don’t trust writing anymore. I don’t trust this idea of communicating through words and artistic modes, I do not trust my audience, or any audience, to be receptive or sensitive enough to allow anything inside of themselves. I have no faith in others, but of course that’s reflective of me having no faith in others, so I’m just one of these whiny philosophes too. I have seen so much investment put forth into me and my work, I receive it all the time, and yet I let the impressions of those who have let me down rule my mind instead of making more space for what is actually a lot of positivity. I am forgetting how to see what is around me, the things I value, to have a fair portrait of the world. I think I am relearning this. I think, maybe, I can find a little bit of love again.

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Parents and Psychiatrists

In my life the tactics of both these groups of people have proven similar.

My mother will attribute any and all of my discontent to a bad mood, the simple drifting in like a dark cloud, as opposed to genuine frustrations in life.  Emotions are trivial and inconvenient, meaning as little as the words or actions they create. Because they are difficult to understand, or if not so, at least difficult to face, they are to be ignored. Attention is instead placed on the behaviours which are a result of those emotions, and those behaviours are categorized and labeled as undesirable. My parents did not have pills to change them, but attempted to use their words and rules. Psychiatrists used pills, because they had them. To their credit they did listen to me more, and to a degree more so acknowledge what pain the emotions were causing, but nonetheless, they were not unpacked. Life, at times, requires a deep unpacking, and someone to unpack with. Both these groups have failed me, and so I’m left knee deep in foul laundry.

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Checklists of Worth

I used to have a thirst for writing, and I can barely remember what that’s like. I used to spend time writing, I used to take the empty hours of my day and fill some of that space with writing. I had an urge to express, to send forth into the world my ideas, thoughts, feelings. Questions. Fears. Amusements. All these things. Now they just sit around in me, lethargic and feeling useless. I have made them useless. And I feel so sluggish, inside. Impulses are weak at best, and so of course turning them to action is even harder. Freedom of the imagination, and free creation. What’s happened? I think it’s reasonably fair to turn to my usual scapegoat, school. Institutions and art really don’t mix, as far as I’ve experienced. Few people who enter retain their spirit, and few who enter even had that spirit to begin with. By spirit I mean a desire to connect with other human beings, the belief that it matters, and the skills to do so with passion and precision. Sadly rare. Unnecessarily rare. We need not have such scarcity. Ha, scarcity.
I went to a boxing class at 6 a.m. this morning. Got up at 4:30. Did that yesterday as well. I hope it can keep it up. The place is in the high end part of town but it’s reasonably priced and everyone is really nice. Nonetheless, I find that when I’m in that area I feel inadequate, not having nice clothes and nice shoes, looking very much the student, and being notably fatter than everyone else. It’s odd, because I don’t believe in an elite lifestyle or participating in high culture through imposed fashion standards and the like, but even then, I feel this pang saying be like that. Emmulate the wealthy. I feel judged. I don’t know if it’s true or not, if people at all care. I think I look notably different but I also think people don’t pay too much attention to others. But then again, to reaffirm our own worth, we too often use others as a measuring stick, and when we see someone who is betraying societal expectations in some way, usually around conventional attractiveness, we judge them. We make little notes as we walk down the street,I’m thinner than that person. Have a better jacket than that one. Her nose is too small. Often this plays in the back of our mind like a soundtrack, reaffirming ourselves, and then of course also putting ourselves down, Oh they’re beautiful. What a nice dress, I couldn’t wear that. He looks important. All these strange little devaluations, and we simultaneously make little goals too, of wanting those things we admire but don’t have.
We do not see ourselves as people, only checklists of worth. Have we ever been human? Do we know what that is anymore?
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I Perservere

Dear World,

I often feel like I have given up. Like I have long forgotten, or discarded, what I treasured most about myself, namely my confidence that I really could reach what I wanted, the blind idealism which I always felt set me apart. As of late I’ve been thinking “what about 15 year old me? What would she say?” I rather like 15 year old me. Even then, I liked me. I hated many things about my life and did feel a deep sense of self-hatred, but it was different than the self-hatred I have now. That was more tied into moments of anger or pain, whereas now it’s a constant state of being. Anyway, 15 year old me was bold and bright eyed and kind and odd. I feel like a grey wash of that person. But I was looking at my desk and my wall, and I realized it doesn’t look like the wall of someone who’s given up, and it doesn’t look so different from the wall of 15 year old me. Covered in post-its of quotes I like, bits of poetry, mine and others. Little reminders of when something is due, or reminders of where I want to go, who I want to be. Pictures of people who inspire me. More pictures of friends now, actually. Just noticed that. Playbills from shows I’ve loved. Postcards from places I’ve visited.  A portrait of me done by a friend. A poster I bought myself from an art gallery. Postcards from friends. Postcards of places I’ve been. And the typical messy desk, as I like it. I suppose 15 year old me would be proud of now-me for surviving. For having fought as best she could have. That even though plans and dreams failed wildly, there have been other accomplishments; adventures she could not have foreseen. Though I have lost much, it is not lost forever. My dreams, those things I never knew the world hated so much, that I have come so close to discarding, are really the most important things I have. Vision. A calling. The things sneered at, or called pretentious or impractical by bourgeois university types, or shallow pseudo-artists I’ve met along the way.  All my rage, it is dangerous but important, and I refuse to forget it simply because it makes others uncomfortable. They forget, these people around me who build my world – be they the nameless politicians, known professors, casual friends, whoever they are – they forget what the blood inside them means. It means they’re alive, that they have passions and emotions and that these things are not irrelevant but ultimate and telling. What lives inside of us tells us about what lives outside of us. We are reflections of the world, beauteous and terrible all at once. And I am supposed to sanitize all that, to package it so it can be comfortably, easily marketed to a brain dead audience? Apparently. It is how I feel, nonetheless. Plenty will deny they stand for such things even though they are agents of it. I, too, peddle this nonsense to myself often, but I am trying very hard to escape that cycle. To be an artist and an idealist are the same. Rationality and emotion are not enemies, as they are made out to be, but can live symbiotically, and I believe they are meant to. There’s no pill for that. It takes work and courage and a lustful curiosity. Seroquel does not offer me that.

10 years ago I was a dreamer. Now I am a rebuilder. In the next ten years, I hope I am a reaper of the good things I was smart enough to sow now.

 

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