27 January 2020

#1--back at it again.

Sometimes I worry that I’ve left it so long between actually writing something, that I’ve forgotten how to write. I constantly panic that my words have dried up and left me; that I don’t know how to just concentrate long enough to string a vaguely coherent sentence together. What could I possibly have left to say that would be worth reading, that I haven’t already said? I used to find writing really therapeutic, but then I allowed myself to get wrapped up in my own expectations. Every word I wrote had to be gold; it had to be a gold-covered nugget of pure, unadulterated wisdom that would exponentially improve someone’s life, and that’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself. 

Every year I say I’m not doing the ‘new year, new me’ bollocks, because that shit just never works for me. I always have such good intentions, but I know come February, I’ll be right back where I was, just meandering through life. I’ve never been particularly good at planning my words out; most of my writing is a sporadic thought that strikes and then flows out. Whenever I’ve made a concentrated effort to plan something, the inspiration shrivels up and dies like every houseplant I’ve ever had. All of a sudden, every idea morphs into a 3 hour Instagram and Facebook scroll, and then by the time I decide it’s time to put my head down, my kid is either awake and kicking off, or it’s 3am and I’m falling asleep at my computer. Hell, I say I’ve never been good at planning my words; frankly, I’ve just never been good at planning my life. I’m very good at a daydream. If it were a career, I’d be top of my field, but living practically has never been a skill I’ve been particularly good at. I’m what I have politely deemed a ‘romanticist’, or what I have also less politely deemed ‘a liability with a poor grasp on reality’. I could probably blame too many movies, or too many books, but I’ve always been a drama queen with big dreams. The big issue is that those dreams are unfortunately wildly incompatible with my depression and anxiety. It has taken me a long time to get to where I am now, mildly content with who and what I am--which might not sound much--but is a very big deal to me. I still have days where I’d much rather lie in bed and hate myself in peace, where I’d ideally like to avoid every mirror and reflective surface because it’s painful to look at myself, but compared to where I was, I feel like a superhero. I’ve had depression since I was…11? I’m pushing 31 now (good grief). That’s a long time to feel like your dreams aren’t valid, realistic, or achievable. I mean, to be fair, some of dreams aren’t valid, realistic OR achievable—the chances of me marrying Jake Gyllenhaal seem pretty non-existent at this point, but some of my dreams were things that, in another life, would’ve seemed perfectly attainable. I always wanted to go to university, for me that just seemed the next logical step. I was decent at school, why not just keep going? I had this perfect idea of how it would be (which I blame entirely on my unhealthy obsession with American teen rom-coms) and I was sorely disappointed when that is not how my uni experience went. I would watch my friend’s power through their work, with a confidence that seemed utterly awe-inspiring to me. Now, with the gift of hindsight, I can see that wasn’t necessarily the case. For me though, it was painful. Every word, every sentence, every thought, had to be second and triple guessed, if it didn’t pass the triple guess, it was deleted. God knows how many times I would just delete huge passages of work, just because I hated everything that spilled from my brain. I once deleted 1,000 words after reading it for the 45thtime, 3 days before a deadline, closed my laptop, curled up on my bed and cried for 2 hours because it felt like I just didn’t get it. I wish I could read all the work I deleted now, just so I can tell baby Becca that she isn’t stupid, that what she has written is worthy of attention, is worthy of reading. On my worst days, I would spread my work out around me; all the books and notes I had taken, set my laptop up, and just sit and stare at the screen for hours. On those days I’d sit there for maybe 6-7 hours, and write about 15 words. I’d ‘finish up’ for the day and pretend like I’d had a productive day to anyone who asked, when inside I was, to put it bluntly, freaking the fuck out. I had days until my deadline and I felt like I could do nothing except watch the time pass by. I met some of the best people I’ll ever meet when I was in uni, but I was also the most miserable I think I’ve ever been.

I don’t think there’s really a point to this; I think this is just me trying to get back to something I love (writing, that is, not narcissistically talking about myself). I’m trying to get back into the habit of thinking of writing that is something I can do for fun, not something that has to change the world. If something I write helps someone in some way, then that’s amazing, but if not, as long as it helps me. I think I have to get in the habit of thinking selfishly about my writing, that it’s okay just to do it for me. If I don’t want to read my own writing, after all, why would anyone else?

I hope you’re all well; it has been a very long time. I will, hopefully, chat to you soon.

Motherhood, films, beauty, and life



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