Sunday, 3 July 2016

I O U


When I was a child, I always remember having a similar kind of nightmare.

I was a witch, a superhero, perhaps even a mutant - someone passionate with something important to stand for, and a powerful way of fighting for it. And mid-epic battle to save the earth, my magic would just... fail. I'd stumble and stare in horror down at my hands, unable to believe what I daren't believe could be true. My identity, my purpose, my ability and my passion had been suddenly and inexplicably stripped from me with the loss, and as I glanced up, wild-eyed in the face of looming responsibility, I knew I could no longer do it.

I could no longer fight, and I could no longer win.

I'd lost my powers.

How strange the prophetic qualities our young dreams can have.

*

I'll admit something to you right now; I don't like writing this. I don't want to do it and I'm throwing a bit of a tantrum about it. But I have a responsibility to. I need to write this, not for you, but for myself.

I don't want to just repeat what's in my previous post, but bottom line: My life sucks right now. But during this period of wild and uncertain dissatisfaction, in which I am quite simply wallowing in misery and boredom, I've had an unfortunate amount of time to think. And I've been thinking about this idea of responsibility, that thing you owe to your audience once you declare yourself a creator. And the mental debilitation that comes when you realise, for whatever reason, you can no longer provide it.

I think this kind of 'creative responsibility stress' comes under a lot of names and derivatives: imposter syndrome, pressure to perform, doing it for the vine, pic or it didn't happen etc etc. When the boundaries between motive and motivation get blurred, the magnetic poles of creation get flipped and suddenly you're creating because you're supposed to, because you owe it, because you said you would, and then suddenly you become incapacitated with with this looming expectation of what you're supposed to deliver that you fucking can't because you're a big fat fraud and for some reason you're completely broken and are just fumbling with the odd-shaped pieces in the dark trying desperately to smash them back together before too much damage is done, whilst hoping that no-one will notice that, at the end of the day, you've let them down.

Christ. *takes deep shaky breath* I'm a bit of a mess at the moment.

I'd be ungrateful as hell to suggest that having a responsibility is just a burden. It's a gift too.

Doing it for the story to tell pushes me to go out there and get the life I dream of, and inspires me to cast off my own misery and invent my way out of the mundane. To be resourceful and innovative in the hopes of being an inspiration. There's no doubt that some of the more amazing moments of my life have happened because I found a surge of confidence and bravery to pursue them from the kind support of people that would take an interest in what I had to say, and the 'chapter in my autobiography' I could share with them afterward. 

But if I don't have the right frame of mind, which so often recently I do not, then the responsibility to be that character I so brazenly declared that I am, sinks me into a vortex of guilt. When my life *isn't* great and I don't want to talk about it or shout it from the rooftops, when I just want to put my head down and try and navigate my way out slowly and quietly, I can't. Because I can't sink into melancholy obscurity while I try and fix my life without feeling overwhelming guilt that I owe it to you all to be better than that. I should be able to fix this. Why can't I fix this?

If I were to psychoanalyse this for anyone else, one looming thing would jump right out at me. Sir, right here you've got a textbook case of delusions of grandeur. What on earth gives you the impression you have something important enough to owe?

Because truthfully, I know no-one really gives a shit. No-one is waiting in baited breath for my next blog post or is mad because I'm not giving the people what they want. I know this... so why does the guilt that I've gone AWOL still hang around my neck like a lead cloak?

Because maybe it's not to you that I am in debt. Perhaps, in fact, I owe to myself. Perhaps the idea of cheating you, is just a smoke screen for the fact that I'm cheating me. That I should be, need to be and deserve to be doing a better job of being me, and I'm not.

Because I'm not a superhero who's lost her powers in the middle of saving the world. The world is not waiting for me to deliver on my promises. 

But I am. 

I'm the one waiting with baited breath for the day that I can be a woman of my word, and provide for myself the future, the happiness and the success that I owe to a girl who has the capabilities to achieve all three.

So that's my deal at the moment. I'm a bit of a mess and I don't really know what's going on, or how I'm going to fix this. I guess, as always, I just have to keep listening, keep thinking and keep writing about it in the hopes that soon I'll reach a day where I realise it's all a lot easier than I realised.

Jesus christ I'm truly exhausted of myself.