I’m nearing the end of my graduate program. Life is hectic, my mind is fuzzy, and my brain seems to work in reverse. I mix up numbers and letters, I put milk in the cabinet instead of the refrigerator, and every three to four months I catch myself crying in public from a song on the radio or a bird in the sky. Bright lights make my head pound, I can’t handle people walking behind me, and I’ve convinced myself there is a recorder in my apartment transmitting information into instagram ads.
My mom is starting to worry, “Do you have schizophrenia?” She asks earnestly.
“I just need to sleep.”
“Are you on drugs?”
“I just need to sleep.”
I believe I’ve grown immensely as a student; but for some reason, transcribing what is in my head onto paper (or onto a keypad) remains the most difficult task for me. This is bold to say, but my trouble with writing isn’t geared around fear. What people think of my work, or the weird sense of pride I must have to feel it is important enough prose to share, no longer haunts me. Instead, I’ve replaced that fear with a bigger one.
An indefatigable thought that asks: What are you saying?
My thoughts are all scattered like thousands of little atoms in my head, and when they finally make their way to paper, I can’t tell if they’ve actually taken form. Have I connected this? Will anyone outside of my brain actually be able to decipher this shit? (Answers “no” amidst typing.) My mind, tongue, and fingers are disconnected. My creativity has turned into a cave that I have to spend HOURS mining in order to dig one measly little coal of shit out while strata impends above me.
Maybe it would be better for me to be a miner instead of a writer? That’s a process I can understand. Dig until you’ve reached something.
For me, the trouble with writing is freedom. My work has become an open net to which the world seems to say,
But bring in a lot of fish.
I know, I know, freedom is a good thing when it’s about freeing yourself from imprisonment or hashtagging it with a selfie in a field of flowers, but really – THINK ABOUT HOW STRESSFUL FREEDOM IN CREATIVITY IS. It is a boundless restraint that pulls and shapes from nothing. It is unable to be defined, but your very task is to claim some sort of definition or meaning or purpose. I can’t piece together a shape in space. I can barely piece together a PB&J, and I’m growing sick of the cyclic quest to unsay and redefine. Can’t I just be here, defined amongst everyone else? Freedom only tangles in more complexities I have to sift through.
You’re free. Here is
a trekking pole
Go find something creative.