My writing process.
I keep writing blog posts and not finishing them.
I’ve noticed a few things. I tend to write novels. When things are too emotional, it’s hard to finish. I get nauseous, sad or anxious. However, it can be cathartic to keep working through and just finish. Once I put feelings on paper, I can let them go. It’s been a very healing process. Other times, I don’t have the courage or strength. I save it for another time. That’s okay too.
I feel a lot of pressure and I’m not really giving myself the time or space to follow through. I need to work on discipline. The story of my life. The goal: devoting
1 hour 45 minutes to writing every day until I leave New York. When I return back to Chapel Hill, I can write for 1-2 hours daily. I’ll have time.
I would like to finish some of the posts I started. I would also like to finish some of the essays I’ve started and not finished. I have about 50 or so from the past 8 years on various hard drives. The more I read, the more I want to write. However, I have to give myself time to process what I’ve just read. It helps to bring a notebook with me everywhere. I hate typing notes on my phone.
Sometimes the words just flow. Other times it seems like each word takes so much effort to type a single word. I erase paragraphs. I erase sentences. I’m finding my voice. I really appreciate all of Nicole’s encouragement. She’s been such an amazing mentor/motivator for me the past few months.
I met Andy at a party when I was twenty. When we talked, I heard music playing. I heard bells ringing and a beautiful symphony. It was magic or maybe all the PBR. I literally thought I was falling in love. He was so handsome. My [first] boyfriend was in Europe and I was going to Tanzania for the whole summer in a few days. Andy and I theorized about life. He was just so smart and so cute. An asshole. It seemed the first time that someone so attractive was into me. He spent the night. I had a boyfriend so I made him sleep on the other side of my bed. He got really angry. When his friend picked up in the morning, he was still so pissed. He knew my friend Michi. She warned me against him. Her taste is impeccable and I didn’t listen.
Years later, I see Andy again. He’s a bar back at my old watering hole. He’s still so cute and so charming. Those freckles. *swoon* We talked.
We start hanging out. I don’t even remember how it happened. I just know he met my best friends and introduced himself as my boyfriend. It was a week later. I’ve only had two boyfriends in my life: Josh and Elijah. I didn’t agree with him. I didn’t correct him either. I just kind of ran with it. I knew it was a little strange but he was just so cute. Those freckles. Those eyes. That height.
We had so much fun. We say movies outside. We went to shows at the Cradle. We climbed trees over the Eno River. I broke a branch and feel in. We laughed. We got lost in Hillsborough. We made out in cars. He also told me I was needed to lose weight and I that I looked like an American Apparel model. Not at the same time though.
He didn’t have any friends. He was our summer together. It had only been a few weeks. Every time he met my friends he got so weird. He later confessed he hated how many friends I had. He wanted it to be just us. He wanted us to build our lives together. He wanted so hard to be more than ordinary.
We hung out almost every day for a month or maybe 3 weeks or 5 weeks. I don’t really remember. It was May and June in 2007. We went out to meet my friend Lena. She had just got back from a trip. We took all these pictures together. We look so happy. This was all so new to me. He was trying to plan my birthday, 5 months away, with Lena.
We go back to his apartment. He tells me he read a book and now he has to break up with me.
I immediately ask him give me back to the adderall I gave him. It was my prescription for my ADHD. I’d given him some to help with his exams. He was still finishing his undergrad degree. He had dropped out for a while. He said he took it all. I knew he was lying. I told him it was impossible and that they were time-released.
I asked more about this book and why he needed to end this relationship that he had started.
He wouldn’t tell me the name of the book. He told me he was destined to be alone. That it was him against the world. Everyone was swimming with the waves and he was swimming against them. He wanted no part of my life. I already had so many friends and seemed so secure. There was no space for him. He was all alone. It was him against the world. I told him we all feel like that but when we’re 13. The Holden Caufield syndrome. We think no one understands us. We grow up and realize we’re not alone. He needed to grow up. I found him infuriating. Unfortunately, he was still so cute.
I wanted to leave his apartment. He insisted I stay. It was 3am. I was in a tight dress and heels. He had picked me up. I didn’t have my car. I couldn’t sleep. I went to the couch. I waited until the sun came out. I waited for him to go to bed. I looked at his desk. I saw the adderall that I’d gifted him: the adderall he claimed to have taken. I took it back. Put on my shoes and walked home.
I’d continue to run into him for years. He would tell me his plans of getting his PhD in chemistry. He said he set the curve in his Calculus classes. My friend worked in academic advising. He came into see her. He didn’t recognize her. She told me he was failing all his classes.
“Stop being so hard on yourself.” I keep hearing this over and over again. I know it’s true. When you’re prone to depression, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of self-harm and degradation. It takes work to stay on the path: the path towards healthy living and compassion towards self and others.
Recently, really for a while, I haven’t been kind to myself. I’ve been my worst enemy. My thoughts have been particularly discouraging and harsh.
I can’t do this. I’m a bad friend. What’s wrong with you? You give up on everything. You’re so disgusting. You’re fat. You drink too much. You’re a slut. You’re a slob. You’re a failure.
The abuse has been tremendous. It creates a cycle. It seems impossible to stop. I know this isn’t true. I remember when I was at this point before and chose an alternative route.
I’m going to be less hard on myself and approach my self with loving-kindness. It’s a moment-to-moment choice. It’s a daily practice. I believe in training with slogans. I’m in the process of retraining my mind and to replace the harsh tone with understanding and motivation.
I wrote this as a reminder to myself several years ago.
This moment, you choose not to self-destruct. You end the cycle. You pick up and move forward. Leave the baggage behind. Trust in your competencies. Failures are lessons. Learn from mistakes. Do not obsess. Do not feel guilty. Address, correct, come to peace and move on.
I’m learning to be a good friend to myself. I’m giving myself room to be imperfect. Human.
“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” – Pema Chodron
I’ve never blogged. I set up a blog 2 years ago with the intention to put up stories, essays and posts. It’s yet to happen. One story is on this wordpress site. It’s rife with mistakes and only half-way finished. I wanted to put it up before I chickened out. So it remains.
This month is the perfect time to start writing and sharing. I’m funemployed. I have all the free time in the world [to nap and drink]. I’m about to move from Brooklyn back to North Carolina.
I’m broke. I’m dealing with various levels of anxiety and stress. Old roommates, moving, finding a job, moving back in with my parents (every almost 29 year old’s dream), hospital bills without insurance, filing for unemployment insurance, finding affordable health care and mental health care. I’m also broke.
In my old therapist’s office, there was a poster with the Chinese word for crisis. It read that the Chinese word for crisis is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other opportunity. It’s apparently a poor translation that’s been co-opted by the new age and motivational speaker communities. However, I like the metaphor. I’m at a point of crisis. There is danger. There is also opportunity. I look forward to the latter.
I’m at a point in my life where I can chart my own course. There is time to start over and rebuild. Time to start new habits, go on new adventures and create new approaches to dealing with problems. Finding solutions and methods I already know but have been dormant. I’m going to awaken that wisdom.
I wonder what #30in30 will bring. I would like to write essays and stories or just document my writing process. I’ve always dreamed of writing essays: astute cultural critiques filed with history and my personal story. I write essays a lot. I never share them. It’s more about having goal and accomplishing it. I hope my writing improves. I hope to share and to grow.
I’m scared. Scared that my writing is poor. Scared that no one will read what I write. I’m more scared that people will read it and dismiss it. I’m trying to conquer my fears.
Who else is doing #30in30? What are your goals?