I can do this.
I always think the moment I open up one of these damned white pages that something that runs onto it must be beautiful, or passionate, or at the very least original. But it doesn’t have to be.
Not right now, maybe not ever. The point is that I wrote it.
Today I watched a TED talk about coming up with new ideas. A Japanese toy inventor started playing an idea game to help himself think of new toy ideas. A word association game. Evolution. Neptune. Elderly. Yesteryear. Ran. Norway. And it keeps going on like that until you think of something you never really thought of before.
I thought, I should do that. But who knows if I ever will. Then I thought…just write. Write like you used to. I used to write. I used to get everything down, even publish it, remember livejournal?
Thank God that stuff is lost in the ether somewhere, but I realize now that I used to write journal entries, livejournal rants, school papers, and stories. At some point I thought that if I focused all of my energies into writing stories then there would be so much more I could do with them. But I’m beginning to think that’s not how writing works.
You have to get all the crap out before anything good comes out of it. So this is where the crap will go. All the rantings of my underdeveloped, understimulated brain. Maybe I should stop re-reading, over-editing, this crap stuff so I can spend all of that energy on the things I care about.
Regardless, here are some things I’ve been thinking about:
I’ve been thinking about my High School friends. Or more accurately, the ones I don’t have anymore. Either because I gave them up, or because they gave me up. Regardless, most of them are faded from my life.
I don’t speak well of High School, but lately I’ve been thinking about a couple of people I’m sad I lost. I miss Emily and laughing so hard my abs and cheeks hurt. I’ve still never laughed like that with anyone else. I miss Jake and those incorruptible hours I had with him in that stupid college art class we were forced to take. I miss Steven and the absolute love he showed me, when no one else that age knew what love was. I miss his forgiving and sassy gentleness, and the fact that I could give him any piece of information and know it would be kept safe. I miss Cynthia, and being able to trust someone with my writing who would love it, and write all over it and discuss characters with me; I’ve never had anything like that since. I miss Joseph and his laugh and knowing that at the end of the day he was just as bad at holding a grudge as I was. I miss a lot of other people who deserve a word; but I’m glad to say that although these people don’t have much of a presence in my life anymore, none of them have ever been replaced. I think that’s important. A lesson perhaps I needed to realize—you may have to make a calculated decision to give someone up, but it doesn’t mean the good they did you will ever be replaced or forgotten. I hope that goes two ways. I still pray for these people to find peace, happiness, love, success.
It doesn’t do much good to dwell on the past, but I don’t think it does much good to trudge forward without regards to it either. I’ve been thinking a lot about that seventeen year old girl lately, and how much she knew that I don’t know anymore. I’ve also been thinking about how glad I am to know I’m not her anymore. A little wiser, a little more educated, a little kinder, a little fiercer, a little more of all the things I always wanted to be but was too afraid to take on. I know that as you grow, sometimes you outgrow your current spaces. Others must never feel obligated to inhabit those places with you, and you must respect their decision to leave. But one day, I hope that depression stops destroying people and instead starts helping us understand each other.
That girl. What did she want, anyway? Other than for someone to love her, and to get out of those high school walls and feel free? I’ve certainly had some moments of freedom, but it’s not an every-day feeling. Sometimes I think of the people in this country who have never had a single moment of freedom. Hopelessness is all-encompassing. God, I know that feeling too and I don’t even have a good reason for it. I remember one day, waking up early in the morning and going downstairs to the boulangerie across the street from the jardin du Luxembourg and getting a pain au chocolat (even though that’s terribly fattening to do every day so I did it rarely) and walking into the garden and sitting down on one of those green benches under the trees in the coolness of 8am on a summer morning and eating alone and breathing, thinking. That was freedom, just those few moments, allowing myself to do whatever I wanted. In the last couple weeks of Paris, I cried every night knowing that I’d found someplace that actually felt like home. That felt like freedom, even knowing it would end. Why don’t I always live in that hour between sunrise and the day starting?
Everyone’s freedom looks a little different, but I think essentially it’s all anyone really wants. But something so hard to come by must be fought for. Have I ever mentioned I believe it to be one of the points of life? Learn to love. Fight for freedom. Those are two of my truths. And Miracles happen, or in other words, there is a plan with your name on it.
So here's to subjecting the world to meaningless rantings so that maybe, maybe one day, something of worth will come out. Today. Yore. Everything. Girl. Left. Tiger. Rain. Nope. Ether. Random. Messy.
“Ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth. And behold, I prepare you against these things for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea and winds which have gone forth and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?”