Nights are usually the worst. Those times of just sitting there with nothing but my thoughts. The nagging feeling of failure no matter what success may potentially come my way. I stress about things that are non-existent while I hide from the actual problems of the world and my life. I'm constantly trying to improve myself without ever really getting to the root of the problem. My life has been on pause, without many things on the surface changing for nearly a year now. Meanwhile the terrain beneath is changed in ways that are often not even tangible. How can I explain to someone what my life is at this point? I'm not even sure I know most of the time. I'm a writer yet I struggle to even call myself that.
Sure, I write. A lot. The idea that I've written hundreds of thousands of words in the past year is still mind boggling to me. But in my head a writer is so much more than that. They are the gateway into worlds that can change lives. But whose life have I really changed? I'm 24 yet rather than view that as a positive -- a person with his entire life ahead of him -- I just see it as another year passed without coming close to attaining my goals regardless of the steps I've made toward them. It's been the last year that I've realized how much of a "glass half-empty" person I really am, even while realizing how utterly ridiculous it is to be that way. It's engrained in a way that I can't stand yet can't avoid. Like many of my problems, I just wish it would just go away.
Father's Day is coming up yet I dread it more than anything. I haven't had a good relationship with my dad since I dropped my film career in New Orleans and moved in with my brother. I was trying to get my life back together after a complete mental breakdown. I'm sure most outsiders just saw it as running away. And maybe it was. But the only thing I was running away from was the fear of what my life would have turned into if I had stayed. Fear of death.
I always hear that most writer's suffer from some form of depression. It's understandable in that we play God in our own little worlds and then get brought back to reality and all of its harshness. That level of power has to come at a price and our brains apparently decide depression is the way to handle it. Maybe without it the writing wouldn't be as good, I don't know. It's really hard to say regardless of what possibilities we come up with in regards to everything about our lives that don't matter. The constant reinforcement is this idea can't be healthy to anyone in that line of work yet it perpetuates our being to the point where it's mostly joked about and laughed at.
Jesus, I can't believe I referred to writer's as Gods. I feel like that's probably sacrilegious or something. I don't know.
The things I get excited about nowadays are fiction based. I get excited about a story idea or finally cracking the code to a long gestating plot device I wasn't sure of its placement. And I get excited about movie/TV news because of the possibilities of what it can mean to their respective brands. But the problem is these are all fiction. None of them have any baring on anything except this little self-contained bubble. I hear people complain about their bills, their kids, their lives and when it's my turn to vent, what problems do I really have in comparison?
I'm really struggling with translating this outline into the finished product I want.
I really thought this idea was killer but my editor nixed it.
I had trouble even getting out of bed today. Thoughts haunted me.
The problems that are surface enough to talk about are so pointless to anyone but myself that they hardly warrant inclusion with other people and their actual problems. Are they any less of a problem? I think so. But like everything else in life, I don't know a definitive answer. I never do.
I recently had to stop going to message boards and comments sections because the vitriol was too much. My Facebook would have been deactivated long ago for this very reason had it not been for my social media duties to Wolf in a Gorilla Suit (check that out here). The negativity is often just too much to handle. When most of my effort goes into thinking positively to counteract the impulse for negativity, it's hard to be subjected to that stuff in the way that the Internet allows me to. A few positive comments are only a scroll away from utter vitriol. I just can't take it anymore.
I didn't realize how sensitive I've become until very recently. I used to have a much thicker skin but after Nola, all of that seemed to dissipate. One phone conversation can send my entire day spiraling down. But I'm good at hiding it. Professionally, I never let those emotions seep through because I was raised that work is work, and I have to have a professional attitude when someone is paying me. But when I don't have that safety net? My thoughts entirely dwell on that one thing that I can't control yet affects me in such a way that I'll think about it for days, weeks, months, even years on end.
I'm currently nearing the end of my first full length novel. I've hated it, loved it and everything in between during the various stages of its creation. It's something I'm not sure will be widely accepted yet hope it'll connect in ways I never even imagined. It's been a lifelong dream of mine to publish a novel and unlike the many dreams I've seen just get pushed to the wayside by others, I know I can't do that. I can't because for me, there is no other option.
There are few things I'm certain of in life but one thing I do know is I need to do better. It's time for me to break out of my comfort zone again. It's time for me to go after what I want with more tenacity. It's time for me to take the next step. It's time to stop pretending things are okay when they aren't. It's time for me to do something about it.
It's time for me to unpause.