Saturday, 11 July 2015

Doubt, Multiplied

personal photography image

What if I wanted to be a lawyer, a doctor, or maybe a lecturer?
I can argue any case, and tell any story.
I can be resourceful, ruthless or sympathetic.

I have never had any doubt in my mind about where I've been going. Growing up, I had always had a direction and an end game. In the space between careless hot breath and woven words were ideologies and purpose. I was positively bothersome about it, and my certainty would often waver on arrogance.

In hindsight, I could have chosen something more lucrative, and something with a straight path instead of a derelict road cluttered with hopeless wordsmiths and clusters of unlucky ones. I chose a career that doesn't want me, at least not yet. I chose words, and stories. I ask that you do not mistake these statements as a masquerade of self pity and wisdom, but accept them as I have. I hand picked a world of horrors and growing pains and I chose a career with no currency.

Now, it strips my lungs of fresh air, and it makes me panic.

Inhale. Exhale. Ignore. Move on.

Uncertainty is sharp, and it hits me. An arrow lodges in my rib cage and stubborn tears wait behind brown eyes.

What you need to understand is that I bring on these pains. They are quick, and routed in my anxiety.  It usually happens late at night, and when there's nothing except for yellow streetlights burning through the smudges on my window. I breathe pink flesh back into grey lungs, and I force myself to forget. Memory is a funny thing, it can be forced and it can be manipulated. It can fill us with nostalgia or pain. It can make us or break us, but we can control it.

The next part starts soon. Heavy beats invade my eardrums as blood runs cold. Pulses of panic soldier through my hands and I wait for the worst. There are trespassers in my brain, and I am the petty thief that robs the talents of my better self. I deduced that I am punishing myself, and that I'm frustrated.

When I chose to be a writer and a journalist, I imagined lady liberty and old mustard taxis. I wanted words to ring inside heads like carnival bells. I wanted annotations and quotes in notebooks. Change, collections and anthologies of works. I wanted to be my own legacy, and I wanted to use the word "I" significantly less.

I'm not usually this way, or maybe I am.

Maybe I'm tired, but everything is quick, and every thought is paranoid. These days, there's dust on everything I've ever worked on. Words hover above the page, but they never land. My voice is shaky, and I'm a little rusty.

This is what I write: I write self serving stories of humans and mortality. I write about living, and the obstacles we fight to do so. Who exactly am I helping?

I force myself to admit "this isn't working."
I can't keep going the way that I'm going.
I can't keep forgetting what I was put on this earth to do.

This can't be for nothing.

Sometimes, everyone feels this way.

Not every word I write will inspire a mind, or save a life.

Not every note I make will expose a truth, or ensare a lie.

I thought about my life, my job, and my writing. I thought about redirection. So, I went and found a new job, a better job. I abandoned words for a while, and sleep won every war. The swordplay inside my skill subsided, and I started to forget myself.

I found that on the course of my twenty fifth year, that the little red pins on my map and gold twine rerouted themselves. I have bills to pay, mouths to feed. I've been here before.

Everything I did once had it's meaning, it's purpose. Today, everything I do is bound with doubt, multiplied.

I started to fill my days with good intentions and unsweetened coffee from the shop next door. I filled the emptiness of the nights with sleep and denial. You see, it's been a long day. It's always been a long day.

Today, it seems that everything is too big, too small, or too much. My problem is this: Goldilocks never wanted anything but just right.

Everything I wanted was stolen, everything I needed disappeared. I was a victim of no one but myself. I kidnapped my pride and held my skill hostage. Words turned to whispers, and futures turned into fantasy. I was a vanishing act.