“To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”- Bill Watterson
Randomly, when watching a show my best friend and I both love and that I lovingly call "my stories," this quote popped up. The show (Criminal Minds...yes, my stories are about serial killers...don't judge!) had me thinking about a lot of things already, but when I heard that, I felt like I had to write something.
Incidentally, part of what this has to do with is writing. The tail end of 2013 changed a lot of things for me, making me a little bolder in the process. A little bit. But there's still things that are hard for me to get.
As it happens, one of the things I'm grasping to get is that I'm a writer. That I can call myself that. To tell the absolute truth, every once in a while when I say I'm a musician I think I'm a pretender to the throne, though I've been playing for 21 years now, and though if you put an instrument in my hands, it just feels like an extension of my body at this point.
So it was August, and this GISHWHES thing inspired the boldness, and I tried to get in to Chicagoist. And I succeeded. And I started to write. And it was published. And I do it twice a week now. Arts and Entertainment. Press passes and photo pits. Hell, I got to interview a musician from a band I'd loved since I was 16 this year. My photos along with it sometimes.
And I've had a journal since I was 5, no lie. I still have that journal. I've got all subsequent ones, and years of online journals of all security levels. I could go back in time and tell you what happened on this date. I have *always* written. My twitter handle was something I'd used before, my own way of mocking the fact that I loved to write poetry. But with all this "evidence" I still hesitate to say "I'm a writer."
Why is that?
One of the hardest things for me of late is to accept the good things. I wonder where that comes from. I know I'm probably not alone in it, though. One of my friends has made similar comments recently, even.
But what is that? Why can't I look at myself and say "Yes. I'm a writer." Why didn't I always say that? I was, whether one word got beyond this page or any other page, because it was *always* something that I did, from the time I could on. Looking through some old papers the other night I realized that.
And I'm loved. And weirdly, that sentence is hard for me too. And this time, I'm not talking about the "your mother loves you" or "your friends love you."
I'm talking I.am.loved.
I look back at some of my past relationships and I wonder, would I have even accepted an I love you back then? I said I wanted that, but would I have been able to handle it? And why not, if I couldn't, you know? Why was I good enough with being of mild amusement to someone I was with. Or pretty okay to them, you know? What held me back from the things I wanted, and what still holds me back?
I wanted to be remembered, thought of, held. I wanted to to feel safe, and know without saying anything else. I wanted to be brave enough to keep my eyes open.
Why is that hard, when it happens? I mean, don't get me wrong, it's wonderful. But why can't I say what I am? I'm a writer. I'm a musician, and when I love I love like you wouldn't believe. And *I* am loved. All of that is real, and I'm allowed.