I feel like my brain is taking on some undesirable qualities. It’s becoming mushy and slack and underused. Under-appreciated.
What was the last thing I really wondered about? How can I answer that when I feel like all I do is wonder. All day, my mind is just wandering. I daydream in colour and it’s on 24/7. I wonder what it would be like to be any of the things I used to think I’d be by the time I was 30. A paleontologist, digging in Turkey; a surgeon, probably cardio; a makeup artist, helping people become the one thing I was so obsessed with during my teenage years. I wanted to be a vet for awhile, but seeing animals sick and/or dying is enough to make me ugly-cry and run for privacy so no one sees the tears.
I guess one thing I’ve always had is my love for writing. I started reading novels at six years old and was writing stories soon after. I’ve always written. It’s kept me sane, it’s kept me safe, and it’s kept me here.
I wonder all the time what kind of adult I would have grown up to be if I’d had someone, just one person, who gave a shit about my future, when I was little. Someone to push me, past limits and into the mysterious world of Full Potential. Someone to be impressed by my report cards and be proud. No one was there, so eventually I stopped caring. I could live on the honour roll, but what was the point if no one cared?
I wish I knew then that it matters that I cared. I should have done it for me. I should have been the super nerd that I am and gone for the scholarships and the medical degree and the studying abroad. I once downloaded an application for Oxford, when I was 17. My dreams were loftier back then, but also simpler. I just wanted to make it out of my childhood alive. I wanted to look back and be in a new place. I wanted to be happy. My only goal, even after stopping the effort, was to be happy.
I need something, so I’m doing this course.
I’m sure I’ve felt that “creative flow” plenty of times, though maybe less so in the last year or so. I had a baby. My life became busy and hectic and my brain got used to zombie-mode. But she’s almost 18 months and I’m aching for something to stimulate my brain that doesn’t involve Sophie the Giraffe or My Little Ponies or walking up the stairs 19 times in a row. (Not that I don’t love doing those things with her–I do. I just need something more.)
I need to feel alive and vital and vivacious and effervescent. I need to feel like a whole person. I need the parts of me that used to make me feel passionate. Where is my passion? Where is my bliss? I’m not sure. But I need to start somewhere; start following these little scavenger hunts.
Actually, maybe the last time I did that was when I decided I wanted to know every country and capital in the world, by memory. So I did. I wrote them down over and over, I played quizzes on Sporcle to test myself. And now I don’t need more than a second to tell you that the capital of Bahrain is Manama, or that Nauru doesn’t have an official capital but Yaren is the largest settlement and the seat of parliament. I love that shit. I love geography. I’m such a nerd for it. I still open up Sporcle and see how quickly I can name all of the capitals. Nerd alert, right here. I’m okay with it.
I hate answering questions about what I liked when I was little, or what my favourite memory is. I can’t answer these. My childhood was dark and cold and unbearable. My memories are of that. I can remember fun days…Christmas at my uncle’s house or vacations with my cousins. Any happy memories are never of my immediate “family.” Anything happy needs to absence of my “parents” to be considered so.
The last passage from a book, piece of music, or work of art that inspired me? The Book Thief was the most eloquent, artful book I’ve read in awhile. Endless sentences from that story just melted like butter on the paper and soaked into my skin. I can read it over and over again, and Zusak just makes all of my writing bubbles fizz furiously. He is amazing.
I’ve always loved Vonnegut’s quote, “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” It’s always been the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. Who doesn’t long for that kind of living, after spending so long in the dark? Words and writing are like light for me. They’ve kept me going and nourished me when I was starving. They’ve been the greatest company.
I think I prefer being alone so much because the world I can create in my own head is preferable to the one we live in.
This post is all over the place because I’m trying to answer the questions…. What would I do for a living if I were not afraid of anything? I’d shove my writing in the faces of anyone who would read it. I’d go back to school and become a surgeon. I’d take the part-time makeup course, just because I think it’s fun. And shit, maybe I could get a job doing that which could get me in touch with the right people…who I would try and shove my writing in front of.
I do not want fame. I never have. I think it looks horrible. I don’t want everyone to know my face or be watching for me. I’d love to be known for my work, in my field, but never in front of the camera. Never in the spotlight.
I want to skulk in the dim lighting behind it all like the introverted creep that I am. I like to observe. I need solitude. It became my entire life; I lived in my bedroom to escape the rest of the house. But I still crave love and affection; I would love to have a mom. To be adored like that. But some things, I’ve learned, you have to create for yourself. So I be the best mother I can be to my baby, and I try to change my inner voice from the one drilled into my skull by my “mother,” and I try to treat myself that way I treat my daughter. How could I look at her and see anything but beauty and love and perfection? How can any mother deny their child unconditional support and love? Fuck if I know, but ask mine. She is excellent at it.