A few days back on my Instagram, while sitting submerged in a blue mess of a bath bomb, I mumbled the words of my post over to my phone and hoped the message would get across. See, as I was sitting there, glitter hugging the edges of my chin, I had an epiphany.
I had lived my deepest dream. And didn’t even like it.
This stretches beyond our little word of writers. This taps deep into who we are humans. It cracks open the vault of want, desire, wanton need.
What on Earth am I talking about?
My story is sat in an eighth grade classroom a few months before my dad attempted suicide. My home life was terrible and I remember sitting in that classroom wearing this skin tight, black, long-sleeved shirt. I had my head down and was crammed against the side of a right-armed desk. Bangs in my eyes, I stopped reading “White Oleander” by Janet Fitch and let my mind wander.
I thought about how if I worked real hard and was real good, someday, I’d be happy. I’d have a roof over my head, food in my fridge, and maybe even someone who loved me.
But I got there. I’m here. And there’s a whole slew of problems I couldn’t even begin to anticipate. The circumstances are different. My life isn’t threatened. I’m happy but in so many ways, last week I was as miserable as I’d been that day at my desk. That inner storm never really quieted.
While I was sitting in my bath, letting my mind wander, characters in books began rising to the surface of my mind. Some fought and fought against their roles, dying with only the fading twinkle of a dream in their eyes. And others quietly accepted their roles in the world, dying with a glint of their humanity still in their eyes. That matters, doesn’t it?
Do I want to die with a dream of who I want to be still captured in my eyes? Or would I rather die proud of the impact I made by accepting my role in the universe, whatever that is?
It’s the latter.
And 13-year-old me would absolutely slap the blue out of my eyes if I told her that.
I won’t name characters, because it’s a big spoiler, but I’ve recently been inspired to quit fighting against the role I have in this world, whatever it may be. When I die, I’m not particularly bothered with the details, but I know one thing: I want to be proud of the impact my life had. And fighting against the current will wind up with me dying like Gatsby, won’t it? Daisy’s name on his lips, a dead fantasy, and not a single person who really cared.
Referring back to the post on Instagram, I mention that we are prepared for overcoming obstacles, fighting the man (whoever that is), and conquering demons. What we are not prepared for at all, what we aren’t even introduced to as children, is that sometimes we have to choose to live instead. More often than not, trying to fight and earn a victory leads to nothing. No galas. No flashing lights. Nothing other than depression at the bottom of a bottle. A confused face on a person who ought to be happy.
Dreaming of changing ourselves, our situation into a perfect slice of paradise can become our prison. How easy is it to keep pushing for perfection, keep searching for something that will never exist? We become trapped in a cycle of climbing higher and higher until even the world’s tallest peak isn’t high enough.
Maybe you’re like me as a teenager. Maybe you would slap me if I told you this, but listen regardless. As a writer, as a human it is your obligation to explore every corner of the world you can find. Try to accept who you are, where you are, and what you’re doing with no thought of changing it. Embrace every experience and if any sort of change comes, accept and embrace that too.
We’re always searching for something to fight and overcome, always looking for a way to become the newest success story instead of living.
Put it on the back burner. Take a stab at just fulfilling the “role” your life plays. What would a novel about you look like? Tell me in the comments!
Okay! I’m tagging this at the end of the post (it isn’t super important or relevant). For awhile, I’ve written on this blog only occasionally but I did once have a blog that was updated five times a week (woah). Not going to that, but I’m establishing an actual upload schedule for this blog. Please comment on my posts if there is anything you would like to hear about writing or reading related. Starting May 1st, I’ll be posting Monday at noon and Thursday at noon for your reading pleasure. Thank you for your support. 🙂