Hello. How are you? I’m terrified of boring people with my posts, but today, or, I should say, this evening, I felt like having a conversation with you. Whoever you are. It doesn’t matter. Just as long as you’re human, with a beating heart. If you’re anything else, then, well, I suppose I have cause to be afraid. Please spare the libraries once you’ve annihilated all the other institutions, okay? Oh, and spare the people.
These couple of days, while I’ve been moving into a new place (it’s not nice, but beggars can’t be choosers) and getting my life back into order, I’ve been struggling with injecting authenticity into my blog. My words grew shiny and shallow, like pretty pieces of ornate bone without the flesh. Perhaps I’ll look back on this blog, after I’m a published author, and laugh at my musings and silly struggles. But that’s just the thing, isn’t it? You never hear from the people before they achieve success. That’s the darkest period: when no-one cares about you, and sometimes even you find it hard to give a damn about yourself.
But, yes. I felt I had lost something, somehow. One of the aims of this blog is to be an antidote for loneliness, mine and yours. To be a place where hearts could touch across the spans of miles, countries, worlds. To make people feel less alone, less scared. To commiserate, and realise there are others like us out there. In trying to make my writing better, and hating the results, I think I lost some of that. Did you notice it? You probably did.
Recently, I’ve given myself over completely to writing. Well, that’s my piece of inspiration over and done with; I’ve taken plunge, now so can you! But honestly, it’s less of a plunge and more of a dizzying free fall into oblivion. In all honesty, I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m terrified about what I’m going to do. I’m terribly sorry if this bores you; but I just felt like having a honest conversation for once, without the fluff, without trying to impress anyone, without censoring myself for fear of not writing well. Bare my soul, I suppose. Capture a moment in time, a thought.
But, yes. Basically, writing has become the be-all-and-end-all for me. It wasn’t a sudden decision: it crept upon me, day by day, inching its ink-stained fingers across my body, until I was thoroughly taken and ensnared. In regards to making money, and keeping a roof over my head, I literally have no backup plan. Of course, I’ve been trying to make a crack at freelance writing, and whatnot, but they have been baby steps filled with pompous self-confidence. I’ll probably fall flat on my face, but that’s okay.
And what spurred me to this final decision? To fling away a future of financial stability? Well, love and hate, really. If you take anything away from this slapdash, stream-of-consciousness post, it’s to follow your dreams. I don’t want to settle, and I don’t want to compromise. Maybe you’re like that too, you know? Especially if you’re creative. I have the kind of temperament that can’t stand institutional regime and rigidity. A free spirit, as you may call it. The thought of having a normal nine-to-five job makes me want to claw out my own eyes.
In essence, it seems the only thing I’m slightly competent at (or trying to be), and the only reason I was put on this earth, seems to be to write and tell stories. These kinds of things, well, you just know, if you tap on your ribcage and ask your heart. I suppose, eventually, if I’m forced by financial necessity, to get a normal, odious part-time job in the ‘real world’, rather than spend my days writing articles as a freelance writer, reading, and working on novels and short stories, I’ll do it. Perhaps sweeping popcorn off the floor of a cinema. Clean bathrooms. You know you want something bad when you’ll do anything if it means you can keep on working towards it. Well, perhaps not anything: prostitution and drug-dealing are two occupations I am compelled to rule out.
In other words, it’s a balance between squeezing as much time out of the day to be spent on literary and creative pursuits while still staying off the streets and not starving. Well, that’s the plan. Feel free to call me out on it, dear friend, and slap me into reality if you disagree. After all, this is a conversation. I can imagine you talking back to me. Oh, dear. Now you probably think I’m crazy. Then again, if you’ve read my blog up to this point, and haven’t intuited a bit of my madness through my writing, either you’re undiscerning, or I’m just good at covering up.
You know. We’re all the same. We just want things to be Okay. You want your life to turn out Okay, and I want my life to turn out Okay. Wanting crystal balls that actually work is an expression of our distaste for uncertainty. Uncertainty leads to thoughts such as: What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t get published even after I die? What if I don’t succeed?
That instability will never disappear. Once, late at night, I got to thinking about how wonderful my life would be if I never had to worry about money, and could concentrate solely on my writing. And then I fleshed it out, imbued the daydream with cold-blood reality, like slipping some anti-freeze into the veins of a live, flopping fish, so I could get a good look at it; and I realised if that was so, I would probably die without putting my pen to paper. I would be too comfortable; it would be far too easy to procrastinate. I would spend half the day nibbling my fingers and the other half bemoaning the talent of others. Maybe fear can sometimes be the greatest motivator of all. Maybe that’s why people from such disadvantaged backgrounds can leap to such heights of achievement. Because if you’re already at the rim of the bowl rather than the bottom, and can already see the view – ah, lovely, lovely, and are not wallowing in darkness, you’re less likely to make the final kick to escape.
Anyone who has had parents know the expectations they can put on you. The thought of breaking to my mother the news of my New Life Plan (the only motto of it being: FOLLOW WHAT YOU LOVE) makes me cringe. A shower of acidic words will rain down upon me, I know it. But you know what I know more? It’s that I’m dying. That you’re dying. WE’RE ALL DYING. And I don’t want to squander the little time I have here on this earth. No-one does. You know, it’s very simple: find what you love, and follow it through to the end. That’s what life should be about. But we both know society likes to tangle things up into knots, until we can’t make a head or tail of it, and are too afraid to deal with it all.
How easily they scare you. Parents scare you, advertisements scares you, teachers scare you, governments scare you, news scares you, statistics scare you. It’s no wonder we’re all a bunch of obedient little puppies, clocking in at our everyday puppy training, pushing bones across desks and yapping on phones to other doggies. Recently, I was reading a few news articles on the terrible job prospects of those who didn’t choose degrees on concrete subjects e.g. science, mathematics, engineering, law, etc. It makes people like me wonder why we were put on this earth. Does anyone appreciate creative intuitive people? Are we seen as providing value any more, with our dreams and words and feelings? This entire New Life Plan of mine might be just a delusion. Maybe I’m just lost in my fairyland, and haven’t yet been exposed to the harsh realities of a capitalist society. I’ve grown up dirt-poor, but I live in a developed country, so I’ve never been truly hungry. Maybe I know nothing about how hard it gets. If that’s the case, dear friend, I would highly appreciate it if you would burst my bubble. It would be the better for society; they’d get a new dog, then, instead of a loafer.
Follow the joy. See? My heart’s singing. It sings when I think of libraries, books, words, imagination, wacky worlds and wackier characters. Sometimes, it’s easier to cram a whole fish down your throat than to believe in yourself. Ah, the fear of delusion. That ought to be a topic I should tackle, in my little blog here for dreamers. Dreams are curlicues of spun sugar, and so breakable, so brittle, so easy to shatter into a thousand clear nothings. Our hearts spin wreaths of them, but what happens when the source of the dreams grows tired?
I don’t know. All I know is Love. I’m trusting the Love in my heart.
I’m an idiot. I’m probably delusional. I’m a madwoman. But I don’t care. Because I’m a dreamer.
I wish you well, dear friend. I want to hug you, and comfort you, and tell you that everything will be Okay. But I don’t think Okay is something we can ever control. All I can do is urge you to find your true happiness.
Farewell, for now.