Day Eighty-Four (Nostalgia)

z10

Ah, nostalgia. The emotion that has plagued me for the majority of my life, despite the fact that I am only 22 years old. I can remember going on every single piece of playground equipment on my last day of 5th Grade. I remember lamenting the fact that it was my last time in the Middle School cafeteria in 8th Grade. I remember missing Middle School throughout 9th and 10th Grade. My Freshman and Sophomore years of college were unbearable. I’ve even gotten nostalgia for old clubs, shows, groups of friends, classes…you name it, I’ve probably longingly missed it at some point. Nostalgia is my constant companion.

Every time I return to a place that was once a vital part of my day-to-day life, I get a nostalgic rush. Especially if I see the people who played a role in that chapter of my life. And especially if it was an emotional chapter. Needless to say, returning to see shows at my High School or Summer Camp are always an emotionally heavy affair. It’s fun at the time, but the “emotional hangover” is brutal. It kills to come back to the undeniable fact that the place that was once your home is a now a relic of the past. The people are only shadows of memories. This isn’t your day-to-day life anymore. I’m sure going back to see my college friends over the next year will provoke a similar reaction.

Sitting in my room, I have plenty of diaries and old papers from Middle and High School. Every so often I spend a night leafing through these pages and going down memory lane. Comparing my current self to my past self. Remembering old classes. My point is, after returning to my summer camp two nights ago, I’ve been in a theatre whirlpool of nostalgia. I spent a good hour last night looking through old programs, sheet music, props, and signed show posters. Remembering who I used to be way back when. The people who once mattered so much to me. The feats I accomplished. The shows that are now only a memory, but were once my reality. For an hour, it was almost as though time had never stopped. As though I were still that girl I was so long ago.

Going back into my theatre nostalgia has always been a painful experience for me. Those are the friends that mostly disappeared after college. They all continued down the arts path and I made a sharp turn into the sciences. Without realizing the weight of my decision, I turned my back on everything I had ever known. Looking back on that time in my life now is incredibly bittersweet. Bitter, because I miss those days, I miss those people, I miss the theatre universe, and I miss who I became back then. I still try to do skits and singing when I can, but it’s all too rare. I listen to musical soundtracks endlessly, but it’s not at all the same. But the memories are also sweet. Because that time of my life was real. It happened. It made me who I am today. And that is beautiful.

As I now turn my back on my college days and leave that chapter of my life behind, I’m sure the nostalgia from that period is soon to come. The more I change, the more painful the nostalgia for the past seems to grow. Although it does visit less frequently the more time passes. I am morbidly curious to see what parts of my college persona and life will cause me the most nostalgia and wistfulness. What people will keep me up at night? There’s no way of telling.

But nostalgia is not all bad. What’s the point of making lasting memories if you never take the time to actually remember them? Looking back on good times is not the worst problem in the world to have. The problem comes when you’re dissatisfied with your present. Which isn’t exactly nostalgia’s fault. Nostalgia, when used sparingly, is a beautiful emotion. Too much of it isn’t healthy, but a small dose now and then never hurt anyone. Better to remember the past than run from it. Besides, maybe it’s trying to send a message. Who knows? So I’m glad I have memories worth remembering. But the important thing is to remember that life’s not made of memories. So make new ones. Have new adventures. Spend too much time in the past and you’ll miss the present as it slips away. Live everyday like it’s your last. Remember the good times, but don’t forget that tomorrow could be an even better day.

Day Eighty-Three (Inner Demons)

z10

I am not going to talk about my inner demons. Some stories are best left unsaid. But the idea of “inner demons” is an interesting one and something that I believe we all have at least some experience with. It’s not something we speak about often. Perhaps we open up to a few close friends, but even that is dependable. Inner Demons are the heavy shit we carry around with us. The memories that are best left in the deepest recesses of the mind. The stories that we’d rather forget. The mistakes that haunt our deepest thoughts

Okay, this all sounds very dramatic. Especially with the awesome demon artwork. But “inner demons” can be all sorts of stuff. It could be something you’ve done or something terrible that happened to you. It’s something that negatively affects you that you can’t let go of no matter how hard you try. The dark thoughts that keep you up late at night. The source of your insecurities. The things you wish, more than anything, that nobody will ever know. Depending on life experiences and personality traits, inner demons can have a wide range. There’s only one constant. We’ve all got them.

The side effect of returning to my past yesterday was a heavy dose of nostalgia. All sorts of nostalgia. Some great memories and some not-so-great ones. The not-so-great ones I’ve tried to bury deep into my subconscious and forget about. I’ve told myself “that’s not me anymore” and left it behind. But it still affects who I am today. It still influences my current troubles and woes. It still, to this day, holds me back. Inner demons are persistent like that.

The worst are the demons that never got good closure. Closure, as far as I can tell, is the only full-proof cure. In most cases, I’ve done everything in my power to get that closure and move on with my life. But in some cases that’s just not possible. In those cases, you just have to live with the unended story. With the open-ended mistakes. Let the regrets turn into lessons. It’s either that or let them eat you alive.

But the thing about inner demons is…they’re usually a part of the past. Something you did wrong. We all learn to live with them. And maybe that’s okay. Nobody is perfect and nobody should be. We’ve all done some good stuff and we’ve all done some bad. It’s what makes us human. Maybe we all hold a little piece of heaven and hell within us. It’s what makes the choice to be good that much more impressive.

Day Eighty-Two (Love)

z10.jpg

Love. It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot. In the big emotional moments and in the small insignificant ones. “I love pizza!” versus “I love my family”. Same word. Totally different meaning. Right now I’m here to talk about my personal experience with the emotion. Because, while shame and grief are my least favorite emotions, love is by far my favorite. And, despite what the songs and films will have you believe, it’s not an easy emotion to explain. But I’ll try my best.

Tonight I went and saw the musical I was cut from. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, my all-time favorite Disney film. To say that I was hardcore fangirling is a major understatement. The show itself is all about showing compassion to those who are different, to those who don’t belong, and to those who don’t fit the “status quo”. The show is all about unselfish love, too. Loving someone without needing to possess them. It’s a beautiful show and it was expertly done. I was sitting there grinning like an idiot, feeling my heart soar, and even getting chills during multiple parts. It was one hell of a performance and to say that I loved it would not be an exaggeration.

On top of this, I finally met my sister’s long-term boyfriend and learned that my brother has been dating someone for awhile now. All of a sudden, for the second time in my life, I’m the only single person in my family. While I’m happy for my siblings for finding love, I can’t help but feel left out. Like everyone is slowly leaving me behind and I am alone. I love my family and seeing them find love is really a wonderful thing. But there’s a sense of loneliness and fear to the realization, too. It’s like everyone’s finding themselves, finding happiness, and finding a partner. And here I am. Still confused. Still lost. Still trying to find my place. And still alone.

On top of this, the show starred two men who I have had feelings for since I was ten years old. Which is insane to really think about. But, watching them tonight, all I could feel was nostalgia and pride. They’ve grown up, they’re kicking ass, and past me had really solid taste. I’d be lying if I said the butterflies weren’t still there, even now. I also saw a bunch of my old friends and acquaintances, some of whom I haven’t seen in years. Yet it felt like I’d only seen them yesterday. I felt like a part of something again. I felt like I was returning home, however brief it may be. My heart felt like it was being crushed under the weight of love that I was feeling as I looked around at everyone. Old friends, old crushes, my family…this is what love feels like.

Love is a difficult emotion to describe. It’s this warm feeling in your chest of safety and contentment. A feeling like you’re where you are meant to be, where you belong, and everything just feels right. Like it’s all clicked into place just as it was meant to. It’s a feeling of intense fondness for the people who matter to you. It’s a mixture of familiarity and newness. Like when you reread a book for the millionth time, yet it still feels just as exciting as it did the first time through. It’s seeing someone and the overriding thought being “damn, I’m glad this person is/was in my life”.

Life comes with a lot of shit attached. Death, loss, heartbreak, failure, and mistakes are amongst some of the struggles of life. But. Love really is worth it all. That warm feeling in your chest that comes just from being around the people you care about. It’s such a genuine and pure emotion. It’s a wonderful gift. And it is absolutely worth all the pain. At the end of the day, I have never regretted loving. Sure, sometimes it hurts more than I can bear. Sometimes the memories are agony. Sometimes I end up unable to sleep and afraid that the tears will never stop. But I wouldn’t take back any of it. Not for a second. A life of high highs and low lows…well, that’s the only way to do it right. A life safely half-lived? No thank you.

“We are only human and the Gods have fashioned us for love. That is our greatest glory and our greatest tragedy”-George R.R. Martin

 

Day Eighty-One (Identity)

image

Who am I? It seems like such a straightforward question and everyone loves to ask it. But what if you don’t know? It’s not exactly a simple question to know who, at your core, you are. Because no one thing defines you. Not your friends. Not your family. Not your hobbies. Not your passions. Not your career. Not your personality traits. Not your thoughts and beliefs. What makes up the idea that is “you” is something that is made up of all of these different components. And more. And, if that seems complicated, that’s the easy part. Why did you choose the friends you chose? How has your family influenced you. Why do you like what you like? What makes you good at your career? Are you defining your personality traits based on your self-perception or how others see you? Which thoughts and beliefs really count and which are nonsense? It’s a mess of complication.

I am not even going to try and touch upon the topic of identity. I’m nowhere near figuring myself out. I don’t think I ever will be. However, I believe that it is important to have a general grasp on yourself if you want to get anywhere in life. How can you lead a genuine and authentic life if you’re unsure of who you are? How can you be happy without knowing what makes you happy in the first place? Today was an epic flawless day and that was for one simple reason. Today I got to indulge in a large segment of the major components of my personality. And it felt so fucking freeing.

I began my day with an interview at a nearby library to work part-time at. I walked in and saw the books and was instantly in love. I love books. The room where I was being interviewed held books such as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Narnia. I could barely contain my excitement. In fact, I may have geeked out a little. Hopefully that works in my favor instead of convincing the interviewer that I’m insane…anyway. I spent my afternoon at an interview for a TSS position. I got lost, but was lucky enough to find some really helpful workers to show me where to go. As I met the residents who I would be working with, should I get the job, I instantly felt my heart warm. Here was a place where I could actually make a difference. It felt like this was where I was meant to be. In the late afternoon, I wandered the internet on tumblr, youtube, and tvtropes. I obsessed over fandoms. It was a great way to wind down after a long day of interviews. In the evening/dawn/night, I saw a cool gothic circus in a graveyard. It was fucking awesome. I then topped my night off with a viewing of “Heathers: The Musical” on YouTube, indulging my theatre obsessiveness. All in all, a wonderful day.

One of the issues currently in my life is that I am struggling to choose a pathway. Today was a perfect case for why this struggle is so difficult. I love to read and write. It’s not a simple hobby, it’s my passion. I would not be who I am today without books. But I also love helping others and looking out for the underdog. I didn’t get a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology without loving the subject. My interest in Psychology may not have been something that I was born with, but it is now a crucial part of me. Fandoms are my way of relaxing and I’d be lost without my ability to obsess over fictional realms. It’s always just been a part of what makes me…well, me. Going on adventures and anything spooky has also always been an interest. There’s a reason I binge-read the Goosebumps series and adored Courage the Cowardly Dog as a kid. Lastly, musical theatre means the world to me. I wouldn’t have half my friends, mentors, crushes, and greatest memories without it. A life without theatre is no life at all.

Perhaps that is the answer. Trying to choose one passion, screw the rest, is no way to live a full and authentic life. It’s like cutting off a limb to salvage the whole. Sure, you’ll survive. But you’ll also be missing a limb. And this isn’t even the total of my identity. Just a brief overview of some of the things I love. Ignoring any one of these passions would be harmful to the overall picture.

I am who I am. There is no denying this. No ignoring it and hoping it’ll go away. No settling with a clear conscience. Sitting in these interviews and talking up my experiences was a great lesson in how far I have already come. I’m not a strange hermit who has failed at life and is destined to end up alone and lost. I could end up that way, but I don’t have to. I’ve made it so far already, how could I give up now? There is only one me. We are all special and unique. Every single person. We’ve just got to realize and recognize our individuality and play to our strengths. Be the person we were meant to be. If you’re going to live the dream life, make sure it’s your dream that you’re living.

Day Eighty (Accomplishment)

z10.jpg

I can easily talk about all of my failings. All of the mistakes I’ve made. All of my bad qualities, my flaws, and my weaknesses. I have plenty. Honestly, I would need a week at the least to just begin to outline all my faults. But that is not a constructive way to live my life and that is not what is going to move me forward. It is vital to know one’s weaknesses, to accept them, and to fight to be better. Always. I’ve always hated getting 100% on assignments, because there is always room for improvement. Nobody is meant to be perfect. But that does not mean we can’t try and be better.

Anyway, that’s not what today’s entry is about. My day at work was actually quite good. Everyone was nice, I didn’t make any major screw-ups, and everything went without a hitch. Except the damn fingerprinting thing, which is still a struggle. My mean coworker was super friendly (which has me wary, but I’m not one to look a gifted horse in the mouth). I also joked around with the chill manager a little, which felt like an accomplishment in and of itself. The guy is brooding and taciturn, so I’ve been trying to get a “real audible connection” with him for awhile. We’ll be best friends in no time. It’s destiny. Anyway, none of that was what I wanted to talk about. No, the greatest part of my day was something very simple and unsurprising. Eighty days after graduation, I finally got my diploma in the mail.

I know that I graduated. I took all the classes I needed to take. I got the grades I needed to get. I marched with my fellow graduates. Getting this piece of paper is just tradition. It’s really just a piece of paper. Even so, for me, it represents so much more than that. It represents the long nights cramming for difficult exams. It represents all the flashcards I had to make. It represents the group projects I had to work through. It represents the hours upon hours that I sat through classes. It represents the mentors who guided me forward, the friends who supported me unconditionally, and the strength I eventually found within myself. I posted an image of the diploma online (so sue me, I’m a humble-bragger), and the majority of people who liked it were friends and acquaintances from college. In addition to a couple of High School and Summer Camp friends with whom I’ve managed to keep in touch with. Look at that. The mute with hardcore social anxiety made some friends, after all.

When I get down and discouraged, something I do to crawl out of my cave of shame is to remind myself of all the good things I’ve done. I got through Middle School, High School, and College with mostly As and Bs (only a handful of Cs). I’ve taken on roles in theater that surprise me to this day. I’ve told people I care about how much I appreciate them to their face. I’ve kicked butt at freaking sword fighting. I’ve written some awesome stuff and I’ve read/watched so much more. I’ve struggled through depression and anxiety and I’m still here standing today. I can play an instrument. I’ve gotten knocked down so many times. And, every time, I’ve gotten the fuck back up again. That is who I am. Just as much as the not-so-great parts. But that’s for another post.

Sometimes you have to brag. Talk yourself up. Look in the mirror and go “damn, I’m awesome”. It’s not a sign of narcissism, necessarily. It’s a sign of confidence. A sign of self-respect. A sign that you know your own value. Accomplishments are something to be proud of. We’ve all had at least a few. Anyone reading has made it through today and that alone is something miraculous. So maybe I’ve got an arrogant streak to me. Personally, I like to see it as finally acknowledging my self-worth.

Day Seventy-Nine (Opportunity)

z10.jpg

As evidence from my previous entries, my life at the current moment is like a boat floating out in the middle of the ocean. Nothing in any direction as far as the eye can see. A boat, just sitting there, bobbing up and down in the waves. The food supply dying out. My sanity and resolve faltering. No way to go. It’s a shame I haven’t seen Gendry row by while I’m out here. Either way, my life is at a standstill. Today, even, was rather boring. Just some filing and then some television watching and book reading. Same as every other day. Except there was one thing that happened today that brightened my outlook considerably. In addition to scaring the crap out of me.

Today I received an e-mail and a call from two different places to set up an interview. One is a second interview for a job in the Psychology field as a Therapeutic Staff Support team member. The other is an interview for a job in the English Field as a Library Assistant. Both are jobs that could help advance me in one of the two directions that I am currently pursuing. Suddenly two doors have cracked open and I have two interviews set for the exact same day. Talk about going from nothing to everything all at once…Then again, that’s how summer’s have worked for me these past few years. For the most part, they’re slow-moving and boring. Then all of a sudden everything is happening all at once. I have show auditions, reunions, camp counseling, retail work every other day, and two job interviews all lined up for the next two weeks. What. The. Hell.

But this entry is not meant to be a complaint. Opportunity is a brilliant thing. Thinking about all of the possibilities out there is one thing, but having them right in front of me is an entirely different matter. Suddenly the future doesn’t seem so much of a vague idea and more of a terrifying reality. But an exciting one, too. I’ve done my sitting around. It’s time I get back into the game and start making moves again. Life is about taking chances. It’s about making choices and decisions. It’s about taking a leap of faith and hoping things will turn out as they were meant to. “Life’s not a spectator’s sport. If watching is all you’re going to do, you’re going to watch your life go by without you”, a wise Disney film (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) once said.

Opportunities are a gift. They aren’t often presented and they should never be taken for granted. About two summers ago, I auditioned for a play on a whim. I’d lost faith in myself and the world and this was my desparate last shot. The play had a great message, but the people involved in it didn’t help me at all. Then a friend offered me the opportunity to take on a small role in a one act and my life was forever changed. I signed up on tech day, next day was dress rehearsal, and a day later I was performing. I saw an opportunity and, in a moment of “why the fuck not”, I took it. And it was the single best decision I made in the past four years. I didn’t know it until after I’d taken the chance. But I’m so happy that I did.

So what will happen when this summer ends and the chaos dies down? I don’t know. But, what I do know, is that things can change in a split second. I only performed in that play for four days. But it was the turning point of my entire college career. So who knows what happens now? But what I do know is this. I’m not going to let my life be a missed opportunity.

Day Seventy-Seven/Seventy-Eight (Home)

z10

Home. It’s such a simple word and yet so hard to define. When I was a kid, I never understood the phrase “home away from home”. For me, home meant the house where I had grown up. That was where I resided, that was my home, and that was the center of my small universe. Even through Middle and High School, I did not fully understand this phrase. My house was my home. Simple as that. Then I graduated High School.

My Freshman and Sophomore years of college, I defined home as the township in which I had grown up. Half of my friends were a year or two younger than me, so that’s where they still were. I had friends who cared about me there. Mentors who believed in me. Family friends who had known me all my life. Memories in every corner. Places that felt familiar and a routine that felt safe. I thought going to college would be an adventure. In the beginning, that was not what it felt like at all. It felt like I was trapped in a faraway land, forced to watch the people I truly cared about growing farther and farther away. College may have occasionally been fun, but it still felt like a prison. That’s when I learned what the phrase “home is where the heart is” truly means. My heart was not where I resided it, but in the place I left behind. I’d never felt such exquisite pain.

Now that I have graduated college, I am finding the exact opposite to be true. Suddenly, I am back home. I can contact my old friends from High School and meet up with them. I am living in my old childhood house with my parents. My college friends are now the ones who are scattered. Everything should finally feel right again. And yet…

Yesterday, I went up to my old college town to visit the career center in search of some guidance. For a clue on where to go. Unfortunately, nobody was there. But, despite the fact that I drove an hour out of my way for no reason, I do not regret the drive. Because I found someone up there who was able to help me far more than any career center worker could. Myself. Sitting in one of the lounges where I used to waste my hours between classes, it felt as though a missing piece of me had clicked back into place. Four years of memories flooded back into me. I felt strong, capable, confident, and ready to take on the world again. I looked back at the fears and anxieties I have felt from work and it suddenly felt so small and insignificant. It was like a sudden clarity. I remembered who I was and who I wanted to be. It seemed so clear and obvious. How could I ever have forgotten?

Over the course of four years, my college town has managed to feel like a home. The places, the people, and the memories will stay with me forever. But, for some strange reason, it’s easy for me to forget all that when I’m back in my hometown. It’s as though the whole experience was just a really vivid dream. But it was real, as were all of the accomplishments I made during that period of my life. A few days ago one of my college friends happened to stop by my work and I brightened immediately, shouting across the lobby to get their attention. All of a sudden, just by seeing a college friend, I was reminded of who I am now. I am not the scared rookie, just out of High School. I’m a college graduate. My college town is my home now, and the person who I became there is still a part of me.

Except, what I realized while I was up there, is that both places are my home. Home doesn’t have to just be one place. Both versions of me can exist simultaneously. There is no “High School Me” versus “College Me”. We are one and the same. The character development I went through in college was a part of my life-long journey. It was not a separate component of me, to be filed away in a shelf and forgotten. It’s no wonder I’ve been so despondent and depressed. I know I am better than what I have become over this past month or so. I know I can do better than this. I’d only forgotten.

I do not believe that this is the end for me. My childhood home and my undergraduate home are not the only two places that I will ever call home. I refuse to believe that. But both places have a piece of my heart. To me, home is defined as having only two crucial attributes. One: It is a place where you love and you are loved. Maybe not by everyone, but by a good amount. Two: It is a place where almost every corner has a memory. I hope to create many more homes over the course of my life. But it’s not an easy task and it takes a lot of time and patience. So this is a thank you, to my hometown and my college town, for everything. For the highs and the lows. For bringing out the worst and the best in me. For introducing me to all of the amazing people I’ve met. For all of the unforgettable memories. This is not a goodbye. I know the good parts will always be waiting for me, even if they’re not bound by place or time. This is just a thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for giving me a safe haven. A sanctuary. A home.

Day Seventy-Six (Treasure Planet)

z10.jpg

I love this movie. I’m a gigantic Disney nerd and I have watched every single Animated Disney film. Two years ago I went through each and every one. And yet, this movie is still one of my all-time favorites. It holds up well as an adult, too. Maybe it’s the story itself I love. Maybe it’s Disney’s specific take on it. But I also recently watched Muppet Treasure Island and loved that as well, so I think it’s a mixture of both.

This movie is brilliant, though. The animation is top-notch. The soundtrack is gorgeous. The cast is stellar. The main focus is on a surrogate father-son relationship, rather than a romance. The main villain is a complex anti-villain. The secondary villain is the stuff of nightmares. A good guy actually dies early on. The whole movie is very different than what one would usually expect from Disney. I didn’t even know it was Disney until I was much older.

Personally, I grew up on this film. Jim is the dream Disney guy and he’s shipped with every young Disney female imaginable. I freaking love Silver. Whether in this movie, or the Tim Curry version in The Muppets. Good god, that laugh though. Totally ruins the mood. Either way, the guy mixes father figure, Disney Villain, and pirate. It’s like he was made for me. The settings are also great in this film. It’s so original. And the steampunk tone! This movie is far too underrated. I’ve seen it more times than I can count and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

 

Day Seventy-Five (Dermatillomania)

z10.jpg

I am not going to go in-depth about this disorder, because I am honestly not the person to discuss it. I just discovered that it was a real thing today. I always just thought I was a little neurotic and a lot crazy. But it seems as though this need to pick at one’s skin is actually a thing that other people deal with too. Although in other cases it can include the face, legs, arms, and almost any body part. For me, it just includes my fingers and toes. According to the research into this disorder, the cause is mostly anxiety. It’s a nervous habit. Considering that I’m a gigantic ball of anxiety, this could easily be the case with me as well.

Dermatillomania is not something I talk or think about this much, because the habit has honestly just become second nature to me. I pick at my fingers. Sometimes they bleed. I put pressure on them or suck on them till they stop bleeding. Rinse. Repeat. It’s just an ordinary part of my life, like eating or breathing. My hands need to be moving at all times and this is something they like to do. Why? Hell if I know. I’m anxious about almost everything, so that could easily be the reason. Could be ADD. Could be OCD. Could be depression. Who really knows? I really don’t think about it much anymore. Who is it really harming?

Well, evidently the answer is me. At my job, we all need to clock in using a fingerprint. At first, this was only a mild issue for me. But, over the past few weeks, it’s gotten harder and harder for my fingerprint to scan. Now it never scans. Much to both my own and my managers chagrin. I have no idea why this is. But a part of me suspects the finger picking might have a part to play in this struggle. I’ve been picking at them since I was in 1st grade. To be honest, my fingers are probably fucked up beyond repair by this point. And now it’s causing me legitimate issues, other than the bleeding occasionally thing.

The idea of openly admitting this to anyone scares the crap out of me. I know, personally, that it is just a nervous tic that I’ve had my entire life. But trying to explain it to someone else? “Oh yeah, I just pick at my skin till it bleeds when I’m anxious. Which is to say all the time. It’s no big deal. But, uh, probably not a thing a lot of people do. Also, no, I do not need extensive therapy and no this is not self-harm. Thank you for your understanding”. I recognize that this is a weird gross habit. I really don’t fancy the world finding out about it. Even writing it in this blog entry feels like a confession, almost. This isn’t to say that I plan on stopping any time soon. I’ve kinda given up hope on that. But it means a lot just to be able to admit that it’s a real issue and that it’s not something to be ashamed of. But mostly I just want to fix this fingerprint problem without convincing my entire workplace that I’m a ticking time bomb.

Day Seventy-Four (Brainstorming)

z10.jpg

Today was supposed to be spent catching up on television shows and working my way through books. But everything got sidetracked when I spent my entire morning catching up on an old story I wrote in late High School. It’s honestly a very good story and I only stopped working on it due to a bad case of writer’s block. But rereading it made me want to continue the story, despite the struggle. I spent all of work today trying to think up how to work myself out of this plotline rut. Seriously. It’s a good thing I was doing mindless filing work, because I couldn’t even focus on my music. My brain was too busy running through ideas.

When I got home, my brother was visiting for the night and was currently talking to my parents. We caught up a bit and then I mentioned my story and how I was rereading it and some of the dialogue I could remember being tweaked by him. Well, in some cases tweaked. In other cases it was totally his dialogue. I knew reading it that it wasn’t anything I could have come up with at all. So I mentioned this to him and he got excited talking about the story. The rest of the night we spent discussing what I could do for the next part of the story. He loves screen-writing and I love writing fantasy novels. It felt amazing to be discussing writing again and the outline we came up with is really cool. I still have so much research to do, but I feel really excited about it. It’s been a long while since I’ve felt this way about anything.

Sometimes, as much as I am loath to admit it, the best way out of a rut is to brainstorm the situation with somebody else. Like in my current reality, my writing felt stuck. Directionless. Running into dead ends in every direction. I’ve never been great at thinking my way practically or logically through a situation. It is a goddamn fatal flaw, it’s so damaging to every aspect of my life. But by talking it out with another person, I was able to come up with a plan for the next few chapters of my story. Earlier today, I spent a couple of hours chatting with an old friend about life and I felt like myself again for the first time in awhile. Just talking things out made everything feel clearer. Just saying my deepest thoughts aloud really helped. I also debated about a television show I enjoy with a good friend and it was really interesting to get a different view on the characters and plots I know and love. Not everyone sees things the way I do.

Fact of the matter is, life is not meant to be something we go through alone. You can brainstorm all you like on your own, but sometimes it helps to get a new fresh perspective. To talk things through. To throw around different ideas. Sometimes your idea is good but incomplete, sometimes it’s utterly impossible. And sometimes it helps to hear someone else’s view of the situation. Someone close to you who you trust and who sees things in a similar, yet different, way. Today I discovered a lot about myself and got a lot farther into my story just through brainstorming with others. Maybe there’s something to collaboration and teamwork after all.