I am fucking terrified. There, I said it. Deep breath and would you look at that, it wasn’t even that hard – and I sure feel better for it. But wait, I’m letting myself off too easily. That doesn’t fix it, and I can’t leave it any longer. Sweeping dirt under the carpet only works until you want to walk back into the room and own your space again. And I do. I so do. So here I am, finally writing this because if I don’t write, I overflow. I used to write to clear my head and my heart, but writing as of lately has not been cathartic but a burden. I had to write, because it’s what I do, but I do not wish to write, because… And the train of thought kind of just stopped there. Why am I not writing? But would you leave me be already.
I wasn’t writing because when I write, I write from the purest, deepest and most honest part of me. It’s what I can’t bring to the table in real life, apart from in those very few, very precious moments when someone holds enough space for me and does it so lovingly that it kind of just pours out. And, because I can’t bring it out to play whenever I want to, I value so much the tool that writing has been for me throughout time that I do not dare to touch it with shaky hands. If you’ve read me before, you’ve noticed the common theme: I make many references to magic, in the sense that writing, creating, storytelling, is a form of magic-making. And lots of characters make characters up, but that’s another story; well, stories.
I guess even I wondered at times where it came from, apart from my love for magical realism, until I stopped writing altogether and suddenly felt that life – no, that I no longer feel magical. If it sounds cheesy… well, shrug to that. But then, soon as I sit down with it, it’s as if a gate opens and something just flows out, rapidly and violently. Like torrents of me. I no longer feel like I am too much, and I can breathe again. I don’t know how magical that sounds to you, but to me it’s like, whoa, here I fucking am! But when I wasn’t writing it was because I felt that I was so wrong, in so many ways, that nobody would read me. Who decided to spare everyone of it, you ask? Well, your favourite impostor-syndrome-as-the-new-default girl, of course. But it was real, and it was real because of a reason that is so obvious to me now that I just want to laugh and brush it off – but I’m talking about it, because I sure wasn’t the first and last one to go through it.
I went through so many changes that challenged me to change the ways I looked at the world so many times, that I felt like I couldn’t trust myself to hold a truth for too long – so how could and why should anyone else? I was growing, and it’s what growth does to you, of course. One day you’re a smartass and know how the rest of us should live, and the next you realise it was all a bit of a lie and you know nothing really, and you have to reassess it all. Because if you knew anything at all, how the hell did you not see that one coming?
If it sounds like something that’s crossed your mind too, high five, we’re both human beings! But it affected me to the point where I felt that I couldn’t trust myself, I couldn’t trust others, I couldn’t trust life, and so I didn’t want to write anything that I would look over in a month and shake my head in profound disbelief at all over again. Because I didn’t know when, if ever, I was right or made sense. And sure, it may all be up for the debate all the time, but I really did question myself right into analysis paralysis – and, to stay on track, writer’s block. It wasn’t fun in the slightest and every area of my life suffered because of it, let alone my capacity to write a coherent phrase that I didn’t want to delete seconds later. I was convinced everything I had to say was no good – or was about to be, soon enough. And yet, fast forward to the happy ending, as happy as I can make them, lately I’ve been thinking…
‘One year from now, dear diary, you and I will both be laughing at this piece, and while the thought of it already makes me cringe, it’s ok. Because life goes quickly, and I want to keep it as magical as I possibly can, while I can – and it’s getting harder and harder to do it the more I grow. But if I quit writing for good, I can be absolutely sure it’s going to be a lot less magical than it can possibly be. And that’s not fair. I’ve cheated myself out of happiness many, many times and, much as I’d like to say it won’t happen again, it will. But I’m not cheating myself out of writing again, because without it I have no tool at all to fight against the storms life brings us all. We all have our own tools, don’t we? Well, this is mine. I suppose it isn’t that advanced, but it makes a little magic, you know? And I guess that’s as good defence as any.’
That said, a few from recent journal entries:
Sure I’m mad at them – but behind the anger, beyond the frustration, underneath the hate, there’s only sadness. The other layers aren’t even real. I made them up to cover it up. Boredom is rage spread thin, and sadness is grief the same way. There’s just so much love inside me, and it’s got nowhere to go from here. I’ve got nothing to do with it. I spend my days watching it die.
I press Replay like a maniac. It tricks my brains into thinking we’re working on it. In the background there’s always me screaming ‘can you still love me, despite of this’ where this is me, followed by a pause. I wait to hear yes like a blessing, like permission to rest, like forgiveness for being the way I am. But the answer remains radio silence, and so it ends every time. It sounds like no even when it doesn’t sound like anything at all, and it’s making me bitter and mean and impatient.
Deep down, I know there is no fix. So when does this pass? When can I go back to feeling myself minus the need to apologise for it? Can my love at least stop dying, before I get the chance to redirect it as still love? Because it keeps on dying on me, and all I see around me is dead love, and all I feel inside me is need to bring it back to life.
Where do I go when I need my heart held? Where do I go when I need a safe space? Where do I go when I need to be carried home? Most importantly, where is home this time? Can new homes be found somewhere other than where you’ve come from, or is that the only place that will let you return without trying to kill you? It’s so wild out here. I keep thinking that I’ve found my home, and then it morphs into some kind of hell.
My homes don’t recognise me, they don’t remember me. I want to rest at their feet and ask them to take me back, but there’s no use. They don’t let me in, no matter my cries. I sit by the gates and marvel. Not long ago I was inside. They gave me everything – food and water and shelter and love. They asked me ‘Is there anything else?’ before I went to sleep. They treated all my wounds. Then, they became guarded, hostile, cruel.
Once again I find myself needing to return, having nowhere to return to, but only all the way back. I start walking and they clap for me, but I haven’t got a clue where I’m going. I want to stop and ask for directions, but I need that reassurance like food and water and shelter and love. So I thank them with a smile and keep going, for if I stop they stop with me, and then without me.
I don’t know what I’m running on, but I’m running – through the motions, spinning all the plates, disconnected and confused. I’d kill for the kind of gentle strength that allows me to be soft, but it’s nowhere in sight and it hasn’t been in so long that I fear it’s gone extinct since I last thought I saw it in someone.
Helping hands do not come when I start asking for them, I know. It means that I am in need, that I will bring trouble, that I am not fun and light, so helping hands go wash themselves clean of me. Ironically, when I don’t, they are all around, and I swear they always look the same. They always look like my next home.
I know the signs – when I lose interest in others, I lose interest in myself. When I don’t keep up with what goes on around me, I don’t keep up with what goes on inside me either. I’ve been here before. Brief pauses, moments of uncertainty, anxiety about the future. They’re all phases and they all pass, and soon enough I’m back in the game, catching up with everything I’ve missed out on. Only they’re driven by feelings – of inadequacy, of fear. This one isn’t driven by anything. From the outside, I’ve been here before. From the inside, I have not.
The good doesn’t feel good and the bad doesn’t feel bad. Nothing feels in any way, and I no longer want to have control over anything. The world can take care of itself. I don’t feel like looking after it anymore. If it wants me in it, it can open its own doors this time. And even then, I’m unsure I’d go through them. I’m unsure I’d go through anything right now. The doors and windows are shut and sealed. Nothing comes through; no more sadness, no new joy. I’m dangerously close to emotional burnout, and I haven’t got a clue how to stop it, or anyone to ask for one.
I read about emotional blockages and it may be a nice term to explain it. But knowledge is power up to a certain point; at this point, it’s just that. Knowledge. I can’t feel anything, and I am grateful to my mind and my body for stopping it all from feeling so heavy, but it has also stopped it from feeling light. I have never been numb before. I have been in all the ways, but never numb. I don’t like it, but I don’t care that I don’t like it either. It’s a paradox that I have never lived before, and I am not sure how to navigate it now. I just am, somehow, in the middle of it, and it’s all a bit surreal.
I’m not one to say ‘I don’t know’ often, and when I do I’m anything but comfortable. With every ‘I don’t know’ I’ve ever said came a rushing feeling of doing something wrong. But this emotional rollercoaster has somehow left me emotionless now, where it’s all been a bit too much and my mind has shut down. Nothingness has always made me hugely uncomfortable. I fidgeted until I made things rise again, and again. But now I don’t know if the fear of the unknown has kicked in so hard that I can’t feel a thing, or I just don’t feel a thing because I’m tired of feeling afraid of the unknown.
I’ve always believed strongly in knocking at the doors I wanted to knock at. I made my mind up quickly and tried everything to hold on to what I wanted. Wandering aimlessly on the corridor not knowing where to go, waiting to see what door open for me has never been my thing. Right know, I’m not even wandering. And if doors, any doors open, I don’t care about being invited inside. I want to knock at nothing, and I want to go nowhere, and for the first time I am comfortable with this stillness.
Sitting in uncertainty has always been my very own version of hell. I have never been one to just go with the flow. I always had to know what the flow was, where it was going, and when it was going to get to where I wanted it to. Now I am not even going with the flow, the flow is going and I am letting it go. I’ve dissociated with it completely. It can do whatever a flow needs to do, I have no desire to do anything to change its course.
The fire was always burning inside me, even when it was reduced to a spark; there is no spark now. And it’s strange, this feeling, or rather, lack of. How it spills into everything and manifests everywhere and eats away at me and I let it. I wonder if it’ll go away someday. It might be the only thing I do care about, after all. It might be the only thing I want, even if just a little bit, after all.
I love you. You are ok. Welcome back. Let’s be real here – you are too alive for this. Storm if you must, to find your calm. Don’t worry about them and their fluffiness. They don’t know this rigidity is a sign that there’s a wound underneath, and they don’t need to.
Big sighs and soft smiles, you’ll get through it like always, clawing back some sense of rationality and calm. I’ll be holding your hand every step of the way, learning to meet you with tenderness more often, because love needs to stop being a question mark in your life.
Change feels sticky and anxious. I know. Internal safety has nothing to do with external circumstances. I know. When you show up tense, hardened, walled up, it’s because you’ve had to switch on the masculine energy again to make up for the lack of it, and it’s the most exhausting thing in the world for someone who only ever wanted to be easy. I know.
But look at you, energetic and wild, burning and craving, how the hell did you think you’d stay that way? You may never sleep on yourself again when life feels small for a moment in time. Self love is reverence for life, and life is the only thing that looks more like an exclamation mark to me. You’ve got this. You do. You’ve got everything.
In between all that there was so much good, I swear to you. So much good. I wish I’d recorded more of it, too. I’m going to try. I’m going to try so much harder. I love this messy life so hard, and if I’m ever bitter it’s only because I wish so badly that it loved me back the same, but sometimes it does, and when it does it’s worth all the chaos.
“I only believe in fire. Life. Fire. Being myself on fire I set others on fire. Never death. Fire and life.” – Anaïs Nin