I often feel like I have given up. Like I have long forgotten, or discarded, what I treasured most about myself, namely my confidence that I really could reach what I wanted, the blind idealism which I always felt set me apart. As of late I’ve been thinking “what about 15 year old me? What would she say?” I rather like 15 year old me. Even then, I liked me. I hated many things about my life and did feel a deep sense of self-hatred, but it was different than the self-hatred I have now. That was more tied into moments of anger or pain, whereas now it’s a constant state of being. Anyway, 15 year old me was bold and bright eyed and kind and odd. I feel like a grey wash of that person. But I was looking at my desk and my wall, and I realized it doesn’t look like the wall of someone who’s given up, and it doesn’t look so different from the wall of 15 year old me. Covered in post-its of quotes I like, bits of poetry, mine and others. Little reminders of when something is due, or reminders of where I want to go, who I want to be. Pictures of people who inspire me. More pictures of friends now, actually. Just noticed that. Playbills from shows I’ve loved. Postcards from places I’ve visited. A portrait of me done by a friend. A poster I bought myself from an art gallery. Postcards from friends. Postcards of places I’ve been. And the typical messy desk, as I like it. I suppose 15 year old me would be proud of now-me for surviving. For having fought as best she could have. That even though plans and dreams failed wildly, there have been other accomplishments; adventures she could not have foreseen. Though I have lost much, it is not lost forever. My dreams, those things I never knew the world hated so much, that I have come so close to discarding, are really the most important things I have. Vision. A calling. The things sneered at, or called pretentious or impractical by bourgeois university types, or shallow pseudo-artists I’ve met along the way. All my rage, it is dangerous but important, and I refuse to forget it simply because it makes others uncomfortable. They forget, these people around me who build my world – be they the nameless politicians, known professors, casual friends, whoever they are – they forget what the blood inside them means. It means they’re alive, that they have passions and emotions and that these things are not irrelevant but ultimate and telling. What lives inside of us tells us about what lives outside of us. We are reflections of the world, beauteous and terrible all at once. And I am supposed to sanitize all that, to package it so it can be comfortably, easily marketed to a brain dead audience? Apparently. It is how I feel, nonetheless. Plenty will deny they stand for such things even though they are agents of it. I, too, peddle this nonsense to myself often, but I am trying very hard to escape that cycle. To be an artist and an idealist are the same. Rationality and emotion are not enemies, as they are made out to be, but can live symbiotically, and I believe they are meant to. There’s no pill for that. It takes work and courage and a lustful curiosity. Seroquel does not offer me that.
10 years ago I was a dreamer. Now I am a rebuilder. In the next ten years, I hope I am a reaper of the good things I was smart enough to sow now.