So… I’ve changed a lot in one week. I wrote this last Wednesday—the day before I started my blog. I was so frustrated and angry at myself that I decided I needed to do SOMETHING different with my life. The answer I came up with? Start forcing myself to write every day, like I used to. Try to find a way back to that girl I once was, when there was nothing holding me back; no thought unanalyzed. It’s only been a week, and I’m amazed at how different I feel. How much clearer my mind is. It’s like I’m in touch with myself again for the first time in who knows how many years. The smallest changes in our lives can sometimes make the biggest differences.
Anyway, read on and see the girl I was 8 days ago.
I’ve grown stagnant. It bothers me that words and ideas used to flow from my fingertips in cascades, and I could never type fast enough to get them all down. They used to gnaw at my brain, make me twitchy. It was a physical sensation. A tingle behind my eyes, a pounding in my skull. I was never free of it. I stayed up for hours at a time just typing it all down, so that I wouldn’t lose it. And I never did get it all exactly right. I breathed the ideas that I thought would always be a part of me. And now… now that happens so rarely.
I never considered myself a genius. I’ve only ever had a slightly-above-average intellect, and I’ve never doubted that. But oh, the amazing things that every human is capable of. Every. Single. Person. You don’t need to be a genius to be amazing. I’ve been awe-struck by the things I’ve seen. The things I’ve dreamt. The things I’ve created. Even the most “basic” human being with a working mind can create wonders greater than anything they’d ever seen before. It just takes the right amount of luck and skill. Just the right amount of knowledge and inspiration slammed together at just the right time. It’s all around us. That inspiration. That beauty. Those thoughts that make us more than who we are and better than the petty things we see in the mirrors on our regular day-to-day. I used to see them all the time. Those motes that I could never describe that even now pound against my brain as I try to make them visible again. I used to be so full of inspiration and amazement that I didn’t even bother writing down the “lesser” things that kept me up at night. Those things that only flitted by, so obvious in the moment that I never bothered to grab a pen and immortalize them. I just locked them in my head and told myself I’d come back to them when I wasn’t so overwhelmed with the greatness that is the human mind. But I never came back. And eventually they faded.
I kind of assumed that those wonders, those motes, would always surround me. That I would always be inspired. And now I’m not. Not often. Not like I was before. I’ve stopped seeing new and beautiful crystals in my mind every day when I wake up. My showers are no longer hour-long trials of trying to fit a single idea into coherent sentences. I’m no longer plagued by the constant need to write or scream or cry or do whatever I must in order to express and vocalize all that was hidden behind my eyes. I’ve stopped being harassed constantly by ideas that couldn’t be explained with words; colors that couldn’t be seen. And I hate it. I hate that I’ve grown stagnant. I hate that I’ve lessened the wonderful intellect I’ve been granted—that just-slightly-above-average intellect that I’m still not using to its full potential—and let it be wasted on mindlessness. I’ve become average, not in my ability, but in actions. Maybe I was a genius before—not in capability, but in facility. Maybe because I actually worked to constantly reach my potential I was on the genius scale compared to those who feel they can fit everything they’ve ever wanted to say into 160 characters. And God, if I ever discover that a Tweet is enough to say all that I want to say, then I truly do not deserve the greatness that I was granted.
Not that it matters. A tweet, a novel, a million pages. If I create wonders and then hoard them, were they worth writing in the first place? Buried treasure buys no bread. The things I write and hide still offer nothing to the world as a whole, no matter how wonderful I think they may be. Maybe that’s why I stopped paying attention to them. Stopped letting them burrow into my skull. Maybe that’s why I’ve grown stagnant, and why I hate looking in the mirror and seeing the human race as it is in actuality—not that shining beautiful thing that I idolized only a few years past. I have become like so many of my kind, when only a few months ago I was so awe-struck by what humanity is capable of that it brought me to tears. Now I…what? I write, but only when I feel like it. I let the beautiful moments of inspiration pass because I tell myself that they will come at a more opportune time later. But they don’t. They’ve faded, like pets that know they will no longer be fed. I did that.
I’ve known homeless people that did more in high school than I’ve accomplished in my entire life. And now they… what? Sleep in the streets. Are mocked by people that ten years ago would have been considered a lesser specimen. So much potential in each of us, and so few people have reason to see it at a glance. So often we squander it. We look at our neighbors and we judge them. And we’re 100% right to do so. The things our communities consider success is nothing. They’re material goods that add nothing new to the world as a whole. The book industry flounders and freemium games flourish. People have forgotten how to write in complete sentences, much less how to create sentences that say something that no one has ever said before.
When was the last time I created something truly new? I’ve spent more time in the last year watching TV than I did in all of college—and I wonder why I am not as great as I was then? What have I done since college that could even compare to the efforts or wonders I presented there? What have I gained in the last three years?
I tried to explain this to my husband not long ago, and he called me arrogant. Arrogant! As though it is arrogant to claim that you are worth more than that which people perceive? Is it arrogant that I believe I am better than how I act, and that my life is more deserving than that which I have given it? Is my complacency to be seen as some sort of virtue—like a purposeful humility rather than sloth? I could only shake my head and tell myself that it is not lost. It can’t be lost! He may not see it, but I know there is something behind my eyes that should be brought to light. That deserves to be brought to light. And I can no longer remember what it is.
Maybe I will start writing again. Force myself, everyday, to say something new. Otherwise, I’m afraid I’ll never get back to being… me.
How could I get here? I let the most beautiful gift in the world flit away through my fingers, all while whispering:
“It’s okay. It will return tomorrow.”
So there you have it. One week of reminding myself each day that I am, in fact, a writer, and that I am still capable of writing worthy ideas. You may call it arrogance, but I call it necessary. Somewhere along the way I lost myself. I stopped paying attention to the unique and beautiful baubles in my mind that make me ME. Now I read this and I’m surprised I even felt that way. I’m actually ashamed of it, now—it’s so much darker than is fitting someone who lives a life as wonderful as mine. It is not so much that I was depressed, but I was…stagnant. And one week of writing and self-reflection really made all the difference.