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.

Metamorphosis

I’m trying to take control of my life.  Past attempts have been unsuccessful and I’m not sure why or if this time it’s different.

Moving to Austin last year shook me up and exposed the tentative solidity of my foundations, exposed all the weaknesses I had been able to cover up in my comfort zone.  There hasn’t been any refuge here and everything has worked towards making my base weaker.

You could say I’m starting from square one in this situation.

I’m taking control of my body and working towards being healthier.  I’ve always had this deep hate of my body–it’s never been good enough for me, for society.  Its ampleness has worked to make me unhappy and ashamed.  I’ve withdrawn, made myself smaller, where it cannot be smaller.  I’ve made myself so small, I’ve become invisible and I’m not sure who I am anymore.  I’m working out with a personal trainer twice a week and working hard to work out again on the weekend.  But, since I’ve ramped up my schedule and am working full time, this isn’t always possible.  I’m trying to get to the bottom of my health issues and address them.  I feel I’ve found a good link with my compound heterozygous MTHFR mutation that seems to be causing a lot of issues; I have ordered Metanx, a medical food, to help with my body’s deficiencies.  Curiously enough, the mutation seems to be linked to depression–something I have struggled with my whole life despite medication, therapy, and a hell-bent attitude towards happiness.

I’m also trying to socialize more.  Friendships have been hard here.  The deep, patience friendships from my childhood and from college don’t resemble what I’ve found here.  I have abandoned “friends” who don’t respect my time and effort in the relationship and don’t help me to live a happier, healthier life.  I’ve looked for friends who will contribute to a healthier state of mind.  I’m seeking to do new things with friends.  This weekend will be the first couples soccer match–an activity Cliford and I have designed to be part exercise, part socializing.  I’m planning my first party–a pool party this summer where I will barbeque, serve other foods, share my home with friends, play pool volleyball.  I’m going to attend a Bible study even though I am an atheist.  I will further work on my patience and tolerance by thoughtful conversation on the book of Mark and Jesus’ teachings (which can appeal to people of all faiths in its universal nature).  I’m going to begin volunteering for the Multicultural Refugee Coalition; I will be teaching English, computer skills, and help refugees find jobs here in Austin.

I’m also working towards my future.  I’ve been making time 2-3 times out of the week to study 2-3 hours for the LSAT.  I plan to take the June LSAT to get a good feel for it and take it again in October.  I’ve decided to be human and give myself more of a chance.  I will be including an addendum to explain the differences in my performance.  It’s been a very tough year (and even tougher beginning to the year) and I deserve some slack and recognition that, despite it all, I’m still working hard and dedicated to law school and my future.

The only problem is I’m not sure how to improve my relationship.  I hope that by improving myself, taking care of myself better, it’ll also make my relationship better.

I’m determined to make 2014 the turning point in my life and begin living the way I want to live instead of imprisoning myself.

Why I’m Bad At Small Talk (and other social activities)

For as long as I can remember I’ve been horrible at small talk.  When I meet new people I’m awkward, quiet, and very unapproachable.  This is something that is quite contrary to my true nature.  I’ll blame it on my permanently furled brow.  I’m constantly lost in thought–calculating the answers to world peace and the like.  No big deal.

It is the one thing I’m not good at, meeting new people.  For as confident as I am when speaking about something I’m passionate about–I become Samson in the presence of those I don’t know.  Rejection is a fear that plagues me; I want to make people happy–it’s what fulfills me.

Interactions with new people are also rare for me.  I’ll in part blame this characteristic on growing up in a very small, isolated town.  And even more rare is the time we are blessed to spend with others.  The moments we share with individuals are so fleeting.  So tenuous.  During that time I don’t want to talk about the weather or some trivial shared experience we had in the elevator.  I want to know your about your dreams and passions.  I want to know your fears and deepest regrets.  I want to give you respite.  I want to fortify you and offer you unexpected support.  I want to share a bond with you that let’s you know that you are visible.  I want to give you validation.

Even though I know this bond is short lived, each person I manage to capture in this spell lives within me.  It nourishes me and love and positivity goes with them.

I learn from each person I speak with.  Every person is a piece of the puzzle–a word in the answer to the deepest questions humanity strives century after century to answer.  Every person is potential.  Every person is the unexplainable and mystery at the center of our souls.  Every person is a reflection of us all; I can fin myself in you.  Every person is a question.  Every person is an answer.  This makes every person irresistible to me.

So, forgive me if we meet and I seem aloof.  Forgive me if I’m impatient with your comments about this recent weather phenomenon or that.  I’m here for you.  I want to know you and appreciate you.

As always, love.