[They do not move.]
It probably says something about me that in high school I was obsessed with theatre. I was forever reading plays, partly because they were assigned reading, and partly because I am a tragic nerd. Honestly, who gets obsessed with Shakespeare at age 12? And we’re talking Henry V and Hamlet here, not Midsummer or R&J (mainstream and hence too cool for me). I’ve always been a sucker for a good tragedy. The Hobbit and Into The Woods at age 9 saw to that. Maybe I just found them more emotionally resonant? There’s probably an argument there for it being a type of psychological self-harm but that’s beside the point. The point was that by the time I was 17, it was the Realists, then the Surrealists and the Absurdists and the Modernists and Post-Modernists. In my first year at uni I encountered Post-Humanism. In the first twenty years of my life I had studied the human condition inside out and back to front without even trying. Theatre in particular has a tradition of examining people and relationships and dynamics and why we are the way we are.
I’m not sure where I was going with that. Now that I read back on it, it seems a bit exceptionalist. It’s a struggle I have, to be sure, because I know I am a unique and special snowflake in a sea of unique and special snowflakes, which clearly makes me not so unique and special, and therefore I have a stronger than usual need to individuate myself. But honestly I think I was simply reflecting on an adolescence that was decidedly out of the ordinary, and perhaps explains a lot about who I am today and how I think. (Endless self-analysis also being part of who I am and how I think.)
For the millionth time, I am trying to re-commit myself to blogging (and writing, by extension). Back in those early days of university, I blogged with a vengeance. It being 2002, social media barely existed, and blogging was a thing internet nerds like me did. When I stopped blogging a few years later, the internet was becoming more and more important to everyone’s lives, not just mine, and the sea of snowflakes grew bigger. My anonymous blog was no longer anonymous and suddenly I was covering myself in a figurative fig leaf and determinedly not examining why I felt ashamed. Epic writer’s block set in. Oh I’ve still been able to write in one way or another over the last ten years, but usually as the last resort of an overcrowded mine, and never, ever to be published. My university degree continues to languish because it’s extraordinarily difficult for me to subject my writing to scrutiny. It’s had a terrible impact on my self-confidence and self-esteem and I am not at a point where nearly every day of my life is a struggle in one way or another.
All this time I have been trying to get back the one thing that has been part of me since I understood what writing was. Maybe this time it will stick, and the little bit I chip away from the block won’t grow back. I’ve never really had aspirations towards being an artist, because there’s never been any real purpose to my writing other than expressing myself. Being an introvert who processes pretty much everything by internalising it, I need to get it all out again somehow, and, well, I’ve always been crap at drawing and I don’t have a piano anymore. I thought I would at least try creating a blog about depression because, to no one’s surprise, I have depression, and I thought at least my writing could have some purpose and potentially be vaguely helpful (gosh I really do have self-esteem issues, don’t I?). I mean, that’s what the light in a dark place thing is meant to mean (Tolkien quote that jumps into mind when I think about hope and then makes it impossible for me to think of anything else but Cate Blanchett’s soothing tones). But in writing this, and reflecting on that quote, I think I was actually cleverer than I intended to be, because writing is my light in dark places. The notebook or the keyboard are always there, the words are always waiting there to guide me back when I’m lost.
Until next time,