I'm Going To Write Every Day For A Year
It's my 33rd birthday.
I have a pretty good life. Good health. Good relationships. The career department feels a little slow going at times but I have these little joyful moments every day, I love my home, and I can afford to live decently in Los Angeles. I get a few gigs a year and when times are slow I happily work in restaurants.
So much to be grateful for. So many good things going. No complaints here...
Except that my brain has become a savage.
I don't know quite when it started. Maybe 6 months ago when a sudden death shocked my boyfriend's family and all our priorities and plans felt trivial. Maybe earlier than that.
My brain has become a self-sabotage machine. It wields any weapon it can think of to get me to think I'm worthless and life has no meaning. Ugh, dramatic, I know, but it takes me there. To the point that it's gotten harder to leave the house, harder to go on social media, harder to admit the truth... I'm tired and hurting.
Tired and hurting from all the constant notifying. Every death and disaster and political mishap and celebrity 'felt cute' moment beams out of my phone without warning. I'm supposed to feel 'informed' but I feel confused, scared and inadequate instead. Is there an 'unsubscribe from the world' option?
In the past year I've gotten to know my introvert side. The side that likes going to movies alone and spending mornings in quiet nooks; the side that secretly loves the many isolated hours in crawling traffic on the 405 south. I have also given names to my deepest anxieties:
'Too Little Too Late', 'What's the Point?', and 'How Did I Get This Old & Accomplish So Little?' to name a few... all equally stupid and annoying, and yet ever present. I've been experiencing deep waves of emotion too...triggered by everything from well-meaning jokes to daily dinner plans.
In short, I'm a human being and it's 2020.
No, my insecurities and triggers aren't the same as everyone else's, but I can't help but think we're all feeling fear for the state of the world, and hopelessness when we compare our lives with the well-advertised ones on our phones.
On a typical day with 1+ hours of free time, I would normally fret about and avoid artistic improvement--talking myself out of starting anything that 'probably won't be good'. Or I might spend an ironic amount of time 'building a solid habitual routine' to boost my daily productivity, writing it down in nice cursive and promptly forgetting it in time to start the saga again tomorrow. But this year I'm trying something different, and it's already been deliciously difficult (I've been planning to write this all day and managed to put it off until 2am, so...).
I'm just going to write every day.
I can't promise you anything good. But I can promise that the intention behind my writing is a genuine desire to be better, be more disciplined, truthful and self-accepting.
And where you come in is... maybe you read it. And we share what helps us and spread a little kindness and patience where there might not have been any. And maybe we lift each other up a little bit each day, even call each other out when we're really just bitching or feeling sorry for ourselves.
This is the hope that I have, but I know better than to be too attached to the outcome. I'm sure some days I'll just have to write '20 reasons why this cat is adorable' next to the latest GIF because I can't think of anything inspiring to say. I'm sure I'll learn a lot no matter what.
So here it is. Post #1. Two and a half hours past my deadline but, damn it, at least it got written.
Thanks for being here with me.