Finding the Creative Inside: Finding Freedom

 

These first few years of adulthood have been rough.  They’ve taken a toll on me spiritually, physically, and creatively.  It’s this last aspect of my life that I mourn the most.  Almost every minute of my waking hour was dedicated to creative pursuits when I was in high school.  I was in orchestra, band, saxophone quartet, jazz band, marching band, choir, chorale, every theatrical production, musical theatre, creative writing, literature.  And when I was at home I spent so much time drawing, coloring, painting.

When I went to college, these creative pursuits were sacrificed in order to guarantee more time studying and making myself marketable.  My only musical outlet was choir.  I went to a religious college and all we sang was religious music–in my four years we frequently repeated songs to my lament.  I am not religious and I found the music tedious and I hated nearly every second I was forced to be there (I had a hefty scholarship that required me to sing in a choir at the school for four years).

But I would be lying if I said all creativity was sacrificed.  I instead transferred my soul into my writing.  I could turn essays about this or that into a magnum opus.  One word could spark 15 pages of writing without stopping or needing to quote material.  I had so many ideas and words–their sounds, shapes, percussion–could be blended to sound symphonic.  I could make ideas translate into music that bestowed knowledge and beauty.

Then I graduated.  I had lost my last refuge of creativity.  I started working full-time.  The job was monotonous.  The bosses were petty.  The atmosphere was oppressive and draining.  My mind stopped flexing, dancing, taking pleasure in mental acrobatics.  I lost my unique perspective.  I was depressed.  I still am.  It’s different than the sadness I felt as a child–sadness that spurred art and beauty.  This is a total lack of emotion.  A total lack of color or thought.  It’s a zombification of everything that I am and hope to be.  The horizon is far and bleak.  But all the while, everything in me struggled and chafed at these limitations being forced on me.  And that struggle against death made me even more depressed and comatose.

Having recently escaped my marching orders to conformity and oppression, I’m trying to find that space again and I am failing utterly.  The expectations of what used to be, of who I used to be, hang over me and block out the sun of creativity I’m trying to grow in.  I’m desperate to reclaim this person before I start school again.  I want to be the person I want to be so that I can shine again–so I can find my tribe again and feel safe and belong.  I’m terrified I won’t make it in time.  That I’ll still be mentally bleached beige.  I’m scared they’ll see I’m just pretending and the happy person I used to be–that it’ll be impossible to get back there again.

I don’t know how to go about reclaiming that person.  I find I’m going about it in every wrong way–attempting to create a hollow shell of appearance instead of substance.  I have all the materials, I have the space but it isn’t coming back. I’m growing more desperate and terrified that it’s gone and I am that person I fear: emotionless, senseless, insulated from experiencing joy, pain, freedom.

I just want to be free again. I want to have hope again.

Why I Want to Stay Single

2014 will undoubtably go down as one of the toughest years of my life–of which will become subjects to write about later on. But the apex of everything that was horrible about this year is that my seven and a half year relationship ended.

He was my first real boyfriend, we were both seniors in high school when we started talking–this was all long distance, he was in New York City and I was in Nebraska.  Over the years, we spoke every day becoming each others’ best friends, becoming so comfortable with each other that when we finally did meet, three years after first speaking, being together was the most natural thing on earth.

For reasons that will become obvious later, we broke up.  And now that I’m going off into the world all lonesome, here are the reasons why I’m going to face the challenges of my life alone for now.

I am used up.

I literally do not have any more love to give anyone right now.  I barely have enough to give myself.  I spent seven and a half years trying to move heaven and earth to accommodate him and our relationship.  I have loved enough for two people, loved enough for when my effort was all that was keeping things going.  It wouldn’t be fair to put someone in the position I was in, forcing someone else to push me along in love.

I am at my absoslute lowest.

I have been tamed and stunted by life.  Since 2010 I’ve been tossed around quite a bit and 2014 was the worst of it.  The way I feel right now must be pretty similar to how Samson felt after his hair was cut and he was captured.  Or like a forest after a wildfire has razed it.  How could anyone love me when I’m at this point, so far away from who I used to be and who I could become?

I want to have the time and space to grow into the person I want to become.

I have been with someone, with the same person, since I was seventeen years old.  I have never had the opportunity to grow alone, uninfluenced.  I want to meet myself and I don’t want someone else telling me how I should feel about myself or who I should be.  I need to recover and I can’t do that in a relationship; it’s inevitable that the person I’m with would influence me. I want to come back at full strength and even improved.  I want to explore the depths of myself that I suppress because of another person’s acceptance or not or rules of society.

I need to find someone who can handle me.

I am an unbridled force of nature.  I am chaos, creation, destruction, freedom, control, power, ambition, sex, and violence.  I am what carried my ancestors into battle–I am fearless, daring, and brave.  I am hellfire and passion.  I am absolutely bursting at the seams to be unleashed and reach my potential.

It’s going to be a long year but I know I have within me what it takes to get out of this and come out better for it.

Feel It In Your Bones

I am bone tired today.  Almost two years out of college and I have yet to find a way to balance work, a relationship, studying for the LSATs, sleep, and trying to maintain some semblance of passion for life.  Fun isn’t even a factor in this equation–too many bills to pay on such a pittance.

I’m scared that because I haven’t been able to balance all of this, and haven’t been able to dedicate myself to studying as much as I want (and probably need) that I won’t do well on the LSATs and I will have wasted another couple of years of my life.  Moving to Austin was a huge distraction and it has wasted two years that I could have dedicated to school.  Two years that I have wasted working entry-level secretary jobs and climbed the ladder of a career I never wanted to be in.  Yes, I have had the chance to reflect on what I want out of life–but it has mostly been two years of panicked desire to get out of Austin at all costs.  I’m scared that law school was a panacea born out of hating where I am and I have no one to speak to about where I want to go in my career.  I know what I’m good at and law is a great match for my skills.  I’m so scared of failure that I’m terrified to begin.  And time isn’t going to wait for me to grow a pair.

I’m so tired of being a secretary.  Yes, I am doing far better than my peers and I’m grateful for my blessings.  I have free health insurance, a retirement fund, other employee benefits and–in this new job–my boss is wonderful.  I don’t want to get complacent.  I need to do more, be more.  I know I’ve got it in me–it’s just the rest, the environmental factors that are holding me back.

I work full time–so that cuts out studying time for the most part.  Especially since I’m a morning person and I’d do best studying around 8 after a good night’s sleep.  A good night’s sleep is impossible since my boyfriend works two jobs and I have to pick him up at 10.  He’s from New York City and has never had to drive but has been trying to get lessons.  When you work every day until late, there’s not a lot of chance to learn.  Even if he had time, we wouldn’t have the money to supply him with a vehicle.  Because we’ve spent 6 years apart, I’d like to spend some time with him.  Bedtime doesn’t come around until 11 or 12 and when you get up at 6 every day, there’s not a whole lot of energy to study.

Any spare time is spent much like an adult.  Because my boyfriend works every day and cannot run errands on his own, all of my time left over is spent cleaning, cooking, and running errands for the household.  I am solely responsible for taking care of the household.  It’s frustrating and it’s exhausting.  I’ve got nobody to lean on being so far away from friends and family and I’m completely alone here besides from my boyfriend.  We have no friends or family here, no connections.  And my family needs me.  My dad was paralyzed in an accident 4 years ago and my mom is his sole care provider and the sole income.  She’s a nurse and she works 12 hours a day and has to take care of him in the morning and evening.  I’m so far away and all I want to do is be able to help them.  I want to make enough to where my mom can retire and move in with me and not have to over burden herself.

I’ve recently been diagnosed with a whole host of health issues that cause me unending worry.

With all this, no wonder when I do have some time to sleep it’s never restful.

Vent over.

The Selfishness of Peace

How does one find peace when peace feels so selfish?

Is peace the luxury of ignorance?   Is peace a right of merit, an indulgence of the strong?

I seem to have lost my faith in good.  I feel negativity well up inside me and I feel trapped.  Trapped because there lies still a naive hope.  Hope against all odds that seems to grow more steep every day–with each story with each bitter emotion that shadows and intimidates me.

With so much evil and hate, how does one cope?  I am so helpless to it all, I feel as though I am drowning.  And help, refuge, would take away the precious needs of others far worse than I am.

How can I stay positive and engaged in this world?

How do I shelter myself, how do I recover?

The world suffers and so do I.  Like some bastard Madonna I weep. I feel the pain and anger of the nations and I am a ghost now.  Silently, I have lost myself.  Blindly, but willingly, I have given myself up to fill it with the hurt of others with the hurt of the past and the hurt yet to come.