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Monday, June 22, 2015

how not to live half a life

I've spent a lot of my more recent years trying to figure myself out.

It's been bumpy, to say the least. I've gone through an abundance of experiences which have morphed me and my views into things I'm happy with. I do feel more myself, in many ways, than I ever have. In other ways, though, I feel like I've also lost something integral.

This is going to get confusing for a minute, as life and emotions usually are.

The last few years I've focused solely on trying to keep my mental issues at bay. In an effort to focus on staying happy enjoying life not crying, I think I've left an important part of myself trapped somewhere.

I do not like negative emotions. Who does? I spent a lot of my younger years suffocating in them, which is why I shy away from them now. But I've blocked them out so purposefully that I don't think I'm experiencing life the way I should. My plan for fulfillment has backfired.

The reason we love books so much is because they touch us somehow. A good majority of my favorite books are my favorite books because they have taken things, screamed about them, and then let us move on from them. When I say this, I mean they tap into a character's emotions over something and ride them out, and then they move on. I've been skipping the screaming stage, and have instead been tucking them away in some deep, dark place to harbor and fester.

This isn't to say I'm festering inside or anything (gross). But this is to say that I think my writing is lacking emotion, because more recently I have not wanted to explore emotion. I try to write scenes that would touch me if I were the reader, and they feels like words. They don't feel emotional. This is the issue.

Like I said, this whole ordeal has been bumpy. Each book I've read reminds me what I love. Each one invigorates me. Each one has allowed me to tap into negative emotions without going overboard and drowning in them. And if there is overwhelming negativity, I'm able to ride through it with the characters. I haven't worked on the project I've been thinking about because it still scares me. I'm still not one hundred percent on if I can tackle it.

But books are patient, and writing is understanding. I think part of why I love YA so much is because there is no restraint. It's raw, and it's crazy, and it's beautiful. It's why adults love young adult literature. We're all still feeling that craziness inside, we've just been told to handle it differently.

Writing is tough, tough work. You're forced to tap into every emotion you've got, even the awful ones, and you live there. Sucky things happen. You get anxious. You get sad. You can't decide to just avoid them. You can't avoid life. I've avoided half of my life.

I may be sitting alone in my underwear looking like a haggard mess, but reading and writing have always made me feel alive. And I can't wait to live again.