I’ve been reading a book by Natalie Goldberg called Writing Down the Bones, and what I read just now really struck a chord with me. The chapter is called First Thoughts, and asks writers to write with reckless abandon and fierceness in their hearts. She wants writers to be unforgiving and relentless with their words, and say exactly what they want to say without thinking twice.
I have been screening my writing. I have felt trapped in real life systems and this feeling seems to have taken control of how I approach my writing.
I feel stifled, like a tube of paste bursting at the seams. This makes me indecisive, wary. it makes me live in my head rather than in my body. Natalie Goldberg, thank you for reminding me what writing should feel like: a release of pressure, an explosive fountain of imagery and thoughts and digging deep, deep, deeper.
I think what holds me back is the impression I’ve gotten of needing to be in control of my emotions, my life, my everything. I feel like if I let even a little bit of emotion slip through the cracks, then it won’t stop and I won’t be able to accomplish the thing I am doing now that is taking up so much head room: finishing college. No, I am not stressed out about getting a job, and I am not worried that I am studying the wrong thing. It is the daily activities that college requires that makes every day a little tougher.
I believe that if I pretend like I like I love what I am doing then eventually I will.
If I can fake it for long enough, maybe, just maybe, I will feel okay until its all over. I feel so unlike myself, being in the system that I am. I feel like I keep pushing my boundaries (which is good) but I am accomplishing nothing of particular interest to me. School makes me feel limited, and not because it magically revealed the enormity of the world–that I already knew. School as I know it was never what I wanted, but thrust upon me, and now I am desperately trying to push my way through it.
Believe me, I wish I could bring down the walls all at once and finally just be me, 100% me. I am trapped in a system that asks of me meaningless tasks and requirements. Why do I have to sit in classrooms for four years to call myself qualified for work? That is only in some countries. I love to think that life is not like that, because we get to choose how we live within our present means. I guess that right now, being a student is what is best, though every day I feel more frustrated and every day I feel the pressure inside build some more.
I am not sure what great truth there is to be found in this. I am graduating a year early to get out of school as soon as possible, and I think that shows something like perseverance. Maybe I am disciplined because no matter how much I despise my current situation, I make it work and I push through until there is something better. Or maybe I am just frustrated and ranting before I bottle it all up again for a few months.
I miss being my full self, and I guess that is silly to say because technically when you are doing stuff you are still you. I miss waking up Saturday morning and going to the book shop and enjoying the vibes. I miss hanging out with people who are deep and caring and wonderful. Mostly I miss living the life that was well-balanced, and now that I am spending ten hours every day, 7 days a week on school and work, I am feeling the repercussions of putting myself on the back burner.
All that being said, I feel much lighter now.