Saturday, June 8, 2013

Writing What I Cannot Say

Currently Reading: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters and Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

*Full disclosure: I did not want to publish this. I wrote it as a cathartic outlet. But I am posting it because in order to be brave, sometimes we have to put ourselves out there. Which is not easy. I probably won't want to talk about it. I really didn't edit it or rewrite it. Stream of consciousness, from my mind to my fingers.*

I am a person in waiting. Waiting for my life to start, waiting for something to change. Waiting. I recognize this side of myself and I try to fight it. I breathe, deep and slow, centering myself in the "here", in the "now", willing myself to let go of the mind-images I carry with me of an undefined and unguaranteed future because it has become more than a hope or a dream, it has become baggage, weighing me down, dragging me back from my potential now, right this minute. I don't want to be the girl Incubus sings about, waking in the morning and realizing my life has passed me by. I hear the warning. Like Thoreau, "I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life.....” So how can I get from here to there?

For me, this perspective is a relatively new development, one that has only manifested in the past year, after difficulties and disappointments have made it hard to focus on the silver linings. I started noticing it when I found myself becoming reticent to talk about myself to others. Friends, acquaintances, family coworkers ask me how I am, whether out of politeness or real interest, and I find myself not wanting to talk about how I am. I don't tell my stories, I don't share my thoughts. I tell other people's stories- I talk about what a friend is up to, what my sister has planned for the summer, the weddings and events coming up in the lives of those around me. I discuss the books I read, because they allow me to express my deeper thoughts without talking about myself. But I don't talk about me. I don't want to live in my life, I don't want to talk about it, because, I reason, there's nothing to talk about. I work. I go to school. I wait. I read to escape it all, because I need other stories besides my own. I listen like a fiend to those around me, mostly because I'm a good listener, always have been, but also because I find myself desperately clinging to their stories, to their lives, because it feeds something within me that my own life does not. Now I find that I don't write about myself either. My journal lies untouched, my blogs and essays focus on my books. I delete myself from the equation, if I can. My life feels like it is nothing but the wait. And I don't want it to be so. I want to be myself again, to live uninhibited, satisfied to be in the moment, like I used to. I'm trying to figure out how to get to that point, but something is hindering me. I am hindering me.

Today, I'm using this space to say it all. Which is terrifying, because I am a bit unfamiliar lately with sharing my deep stuff with those around me. I'm better at hiding it, not exposing it, or focusing on the fluff instead of the meat of my life. But I am trying to fix this, and maybe this is the way to do it. To write what I cannot say. To be honest, to be a truth-teller. It feels so good to let it spill out, to pull it up and dump it out. I know and I feel that it's time to wake up, to be brave, to change my perspective. I want to be happy. I want the little things in life to be enough. I want to live big, even when my world is small. The biggest challenge is figuring out how to do it. On that, I am stuck, searching for a way but not really finding anything that works. But I'm trying. I have that.


  1. does it make you feel better to assure you that these feelings are perfectly natural for your age (it's called a middle life crisis for 23-25) and especially your circumstance i.e. grad school/full time job/life juggle.

    1. Yes, yes it does. It's always reassuring to hear that many of us experience the same things. Thanks so much for the comment, Heaether!

  2. I want to hear about YOU! To hear the meat of it.


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