I TOLD MYSELF I'D WRITE A BLOG POST FOR THE NEW YEAR: I WRITE TO KEEP A CANDLE IN THE WINDOW OF
I'm so tired y'all. I'm so so so so so tired. But, life rolls forward and all these big and small schemes I've put into motion are starting to manifest. It's both thrilling and more terrifying. Lately I feel like this content has been so "whoa look I'm changing" "whoa look I'm figuring out life" and gosh is that boring. I used to write about fucking firefighters and gossip and and and I used to feel bad ass. Now, as it goes, all my friends are having babies and I grew up too--made a different choice and somehow also had a baby--the transference of my labor into life. I'm so connected to this thing that I can't untangle myself from it--or at least must do the work gently. I'm trying. (Oh no; whoa I'm figuring it out).
A lot of things change over ten years. It feels bizarre and unjust to count myself as alive ten years ago. I was 18. I was a freshman in college. I'd literally just had hetero sex for the first time and hadn't come out as queer yet. The next year would bring with it the first woman I'd ever love, lesbian puberty, my first party, and on and on. I remember coming home from college for the summer between my freshman and sophomore year and thinking: this is it. You are really an adult now. I remember smoking cigarettes on my way home from working at a local golf resort. I remember pushing all the boundaries and who I am and why and what and how but only just barely and for the first time. Everything felt like such a new power; I was just growing into myself.
At 28 a lot has changed. I've lived in Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and back to Indiana. I've had 4 relationships that were long term (for me) where I thought I'd found the one. I also had a plethora of small relationships where I probably told you I thought I found the one and you laughed at me. I lost friends and gained friends. My parents split up and my mother remarried. My dad had a serious heart attack. I picked up new skills like circus performance and teaching. At 18 I began my organizing and event planning career. At 28 I've figured out what to do with it. I've had the same cat for nearly all 10 years. I got a dog. I didn't drink. I drank. I didn't drink. I drank. I learned that my pace can be too exacting for myself and the people around me. I learned to be gentle and intentional with my words. I learned that there is power in anger. I learned to yell. I got punched by someone I love. I recovered from it. Mostly.
The important part is, I'm still here and while I do feel grown, I have also come to realize that the real grown thing to do is to always keep growing. Part of why I keep this blog is to document my mistakes. Part of why I write in general is document my mistakes. If I can write it down, admit it, not only can you hold me accountable, you may feel indicted and then you'll hold yourself accountable too. But, after journaling last night, I came to another conclusion. I write to keep the light on in the little house inside me.
There's a difference between possibility and reality. We all know that. For me, writing can also be imagining. The beautiful thing about imagining is that you can stay free in the knowledge that what you imagine, what you think in the furthest, darkest reaches of your mind never has to come to fruition. When I journal, it's my innermost thoughts. When I write these blog posts, it's more intimate than you'd expect. It feels like there's a wall between my words and my real meaning because no matter how plain I make something, you as The Reader still have to read and interpret the syllables, sounds, organization, etc of what I've written. No matter what I write, you still imbue it with your own meaning. Which keeps me free. I want more than anything to be free. What that also means about writing is that anyone can do it and feel safe writing what they need to write because writing moves and shifts under a new reader. The same goes for visual art and music. No matter what there will always exist the act of interpretation between the viewer/listener and the work. Part of what I want my work to be after 10 years of "figuring it out" is to bring that possibility to others, to share with them the freedom that exists at the end of the pen or the brush, at the end of their very fingertips. But, access to this freedom isn't always equitable so that's the where the ideals get blasted to pieces. First you must create equity and then, you can teach people the joy of art.
That is my labor of love for the next ten years. Teaching and engaging in equitable practices, seeking partners that have the same motivations, and sharing access to tools and resources to make art. The lessons I'll learn will be so different. I'm already feeling that. It's less "fun" to be alive now (LOL) because I've already learned the lessons I needed through socialization and although I love socialization the next ten years of lessons are personal, insular, etc. That doesn't mean I can't still have "fun" or be "social" it just means, I don't need to make this a priority to seek out. I've written in the past that I tend to seek out others as a means of avoiding myself. My greatest hurdle of the last year. Still working on that. Still trying to find balance. A proof that just because a decade ties itself up in a ribbon doesn't mean your personal work is done. Rest when you're tired, not when you're done my friends