I am a writer. Increasingly.
It’s always been an integral part of my soul, but now (for better, for worse) it’s blooming into a part of my identity. And yet, I’m fully aware of how destructive this strong desire to describe the world is.
It’s the reason I feel so deeply; my writing strengthens the more I absorb and feel. And yet, the appetite to write surpasses all others. Even sex. Especially sex. Both are a physical release to the emotional build up of living; but sex has half the benefits. To allow someone inside is to risk thievery, or tinkering. Only those who can contribute are allowed in. And so I remain closed, on the outside of so much but still aware; hovering, absorbing.
The desire to formulate, depict emotions and experiences – it’s a tendency my soul was born with, embedded deep in my core.
At 6, when my father would walk me home from school, if I wasn’t talking his ear off, I’d trail behind silently. My thoughts loud, thinking up silly unimportant stories about people I’d encountered and wanted to know better. By middle school, my patient, supportive social studies teacher would scrawl atop my pages that even my paragraphs on Mesopotamia were filled with “personality.” But in high school, my essays were muddied with emotion and almost unintelligible. Unsure of who I was and what I wanted to say.
Ten years and 12 blogs later, I’ve finally gotten the hang of it. Ironically, the more space I allow for writing, the stronger my sense of self is. I’m less likely to bend to the whims of societal expectations. More likely to speak out of ethos regardless of popular opinion.
It’s satisfying. And yet, infuriating. Contradictory. Biting.
As a writer, I’m unable to separate myself for the sake of my craft; oh how I envy musicians and painters who can hole up with their art. They can dive into feelings, revelry. Or numb out, black out, for the sake of their art.
Rather, it’s crucial I continue to feel and interact. I make mistakes and have to feel it. All of it. And then I painfully dissect and comb through emotions, seeking answers and explanations, stopping only once I reach an epiphany I can loop through the others. Forming this crochet of opinions and thoughts. It’s not a cognizant decision. It’s just a thing I do better than breathing.
I watch movies and read books carefully, because the wrong plot will wreck me, seep into my thoughts, tint my filter.
And lately I’ve been giving in, which facilities a palpable guilt for feeling too much.
Which translates into being too much. I run along the sand every chance I get, attempting to exhaust my body and my brain, metabolize the deep thoughts. Tired of… myself.
As a result, I have a habit of separating myself from the pack, a Darwinian attempt at self-preservation for fear of absorbing another’s unintended emotions. I have to throw up a wall and often it means I come off as cold; thereby facilitating a whole different type of guilt.
I set goals, try to be friendlier without absorbing; and fail constantly. Lately I’ve been riding myself for this deep failure, the shame stuck to the inside of my mouth as I try to smile and converse like a normal human, my tongue thick with insincerity. My brow deeply furrowed with frustration. Telltale giveaways.
I am simultaneously The Most Intense and The Least.
If only because this charge of emotion is constantly running through my blood stream; and I protect it. Many get to know my innermost thoughts through my writing and I’m happy to regurgitate the candor in person, but few will be invited for a bare one-on-one glass of wine in a dark bar; a time through which I’m inviting you to tinker and take.
I prefer to float nearby, observing. A third to so many duos. A single entity bouncing around. A part of it, leading the fete, and yet on the outside because no one really needs me. I breathe it all in, feel too much, but able to walk away at any time.
Because of these carefully curated habits, my life is far from empty. And once you’re in, you’re in. The last few years of relative celibacy has fortified a plethora of love in nontraditional ways – platonic, familial, electric. My generation is obsessed with sex, drugs, rock&roll… but there’s an even stronger life force that comes through the noncontroversial. These incredible relationships a kinetic kindling.
So at the end of the night, I retreat and hermit up; for just long enough to release via sentence structure, phrases, and depictions. And then head back into the world to feel and gather again.
It occurred to me the other day how lonely this kind of living is, and yet it’s all I know, it’s who I’ve always been. Listening, trailing behind.
But for those who allow me to be me, exactly as I am, without taking or insisting or demanding performance, I give you infinite room in my life. My love for you is endless and unconditional. Thank you for both loving me and teaching me how to love. Thank you for the safety.
Categories: Musings & Epiphanies