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.

89 comments :

  1. Dear Katie,
    I think you put far too much pressure on yourself: consciously and subconsciously. When you started this blog you ~vowed~ that this was the step out of the mundane and into the extraordinary so now you feel guilty if your life and blog is anything but that. However, its also an extraordinary thing in this day and age to accept that it's ok to not do anything if that's what you want (or not want) to do. My boyfriend is in the same transition as you: he feels like he's in a waiting room - he's been doing art for so long and feels he would have wasted 15 years if he stopped doing art. I told him that it's what he will always do, taking a week, a month, a year or however long, out is perfectly okay - use this time to build, to discover or to sit and watch 10,000 films if that's what you want to do. No one can tell you to "stop feeling guilty" and pow it's gone you're cured and everything is fine, but just try and take each day and say in the morning "wherever today brings me is where I'm meant to be, whether that's in bed all day, wandering around aimlessly or sitting in a cafe people watching , whatever it is is exactly where I'm meant to be and that's okay" I hope you understand the point I'm trying put across?
    Chin up lovely
    - Arora xx
    www.aroraappleby.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly don't know what I'd do without you Arora. I'm truly blessed to have someone like you around, and I cannot thank you enough. These are very wise words, you truly are a gem x

      Delete
  2. Darling Katie, I swear you always seem to say the things I've battling to say myself. I'd say we're on the same wavelength, but god you're ahead of me by a mile.
    This post took guts. So much guts, because it's the most uncomfortable thing to admit you don't know what you're doing exactly right now, but you want to do -the thing- yet at the same time whatever the thing is, it isn't happening. It's like as soon as you exclaim to the universe THIS IS WHAT I'M GOING TO DO your body just... slumps in response.
    I'm sending a lot of love to you. The world is wacky and half the time no one knows what they're doing. Taking a break can feel like taking a step back, especially in a time everything is just GO GO GO.
    As me nan say's "it all comes out in the wash". Preachy shit, but it's something to hold on too, even when -the thing- seems to wiggle away.

    I have no clue if I'm even making sense right but, like, I get it.

    Lou x

    www.predicaments-of-a-fashion-lover.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know what you feel! I was there myself. I know it is weird to give advice but I manage to get out. I start walking! That simple. I did pray, relax, meditate, nothing works. Until someone told me to walk every day at list five miles per day. Just walk no purpose!

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  4. the simple rule is to keep going. to be honest, I don't know what I'm doing right now but I just know that I'm doing it continuously and it's keeping me sane! keep doing your rad shizzz at scarphelia, just keep doing it.

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  7. Hi,
    KATIE I wrote about you I like your content (I want to stand up and shout 'This is what happens when you choose to live your life!' - and so I started a little blog to share my perspective with the world) so i hope you will be success in you life. Thanks

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