Photograph credit: Tyler Nix at tylernixcreative.com
It’s like I’m hit with a wave of writing and I write, write, write. Then, I’m hit with a wave of stress and my writing bug is numb. For days, weeks, months. Until I choke on the lack of expression and need this urgent release. Then, I say to the world, fuck this, damn everything, to hell with sleeping on time every single night, no cares given to being diligent all the time at work, imma listen to my inner needs and get this release. I will type until I empty it all out and voila, it’s a masterpiece. A masterpiece for me, because, screw anyone else’s feedback. The goal of creativity should always be how authentically I express myself. If it makes me feel that I’ve successfully expressed myself, the creation’s done right from my end. And trust me, the right kind of souls will be attracted, nevertheless. Isn’t that the best appreciation? When the universe just floats through the like-minded energies and validates your creative expressions ? Yeah.
Photograph credit: Kinga Cichewicz at instagram.com/kinga_cich
You know, mentally jumping with joy that I can finally find a quiet, lonely corner where I can “melancholise” whole-heartedly. Where tears can well up without embarrassment. If they want to swell up and roll out, I’ll have no panic attack sensation and will not need to urgently devise a fool-proof plan to very conspicuously wipe them clean. You know, when you finally decide to carry your phone to the washroom with a non-hurried attitude to pour it all out into an email to yourself. Because, if the email is not responded to by the hero, or villain, of your sorrows, or by your chosen confidante, it will be crushing and you can’t get sadder than “melancholy” now, can you? You can’t ignore when your soul is hanging desperately from an imaginary curtain, kneeling and begging to be paid attention to, while your outer body pretends and forces itself to continue, without much success, in the daily hosh posh of things. That doesn’t work.
Photograph credit: Emily Lau at instagram.com/2.08_e
So how does this work? This part about not getting any attention? About not being pursued and attended to? How do you become used to not being pampered but be the one to pamper others instead? What do you do when you exhaust all tricks and dramatic ideas to attain some little temporary attention, all in vain? I drive away. No one calls. I turn my phone off and turn it on with shaking hands and a beating heart. The only message is that maybe someone is attending an event near me… I sit silently and far away for what to me seems like eons of hours which are actually a couple dozen of minutes. But no one comes to ask me how I’m doing. I have a bad day at work and retreat under my bed covers. Only to get tired of waiting and suppressing my hunger and re-appearing into the normal flow of the living room life; can’t help but notice how unnoticed all my absence has been. Doing this thing of being overly cold. Or overly bitter. Overly quiet. Or overly dramatic. At the bottom of it all, being overly sensitive. Expecting acknowledgments and praises, gratitudes and credits for pretty remarkable things that I do and also the not so remarkable things that I do. Resolution of a resolution to not be this loud at home, not be so persistent of my demands, to not be a reminder to everyone of every little task or every little health or good habit concern, to not care. Eventually giving in as they don’t invoke the kind of behaviour or words that would satisfy me. Or my ego? Which one is it? Is it me? Am I like this? Needing constant external reinforcements and reassurances confirming exactly what I believe myself to be? What is my ego? What am I made of? What’s the true me? What does the true me want, really? Why so extrinsically orientated instead of finding myself within? Wouldn’t I look down upon someone who would possess these behaviours? Hmmmm. So many questions. So little sunny days fuelling my solitary musing sessions to allow this thesis of a quest.
Photograph courtesy Nik MacMillan at instagram.com/nikarthur
Overall, though, I’m very scared. What if this happened? What if that didn’t happen? What if it didn’t work out? But, what if it did work out? What will I do then? How will I do that? What will happen? What happens next? It’s usually fear. Fear that I won’t achieve it. Fear that I’ll make a fool of myself. Fear that I will in fact achieve it and would not know how to handle the compliments or criticism or skepticism and so I’ll just throw in the towel at a safe, early enough, stage. Fear that I’ll not be happy if I don’t win. Fear of how magnificently I’ll act if I’m very close to achieving it and unsure if I’ll be able to own up to my desires and needs. It’s fear. One or the other kind. The excuses. Bitterness. Low confidence. This act of playing too “girl next door” or “down to earth”. Is misleading. Shine. Glow. Own up to your sparkle and glitter. Walk and dare to throw around that glare. Blind the passers by. Imagine the power of fearlessness. Unsheathed. Raw. Assertive. Sure. Prominent. Yeah.
Photograph courtesy Noah Silliman, who gives away free music as well as photos at twitter.com/noahsilliman
Living for these summer nights. Late night walks. Swings. Such a carefree perspective for those otherwise critical things such as a work day tomorrow or payment of the bills. An eagerness and courage to re-consider life. The ground-shaking questions to pose to self without batting an eyelid such as, should I quit work and travel ? Renewed yoga, meal prep, and mindfulness goals with no ounce of embarrassment from all the past failures. An anxious excitement for every weekend promising a short or not so short getaway. Extremely ambitious take on deep cleaning all the drawers and minimizing life by selling, donating, discarding. Actually being open to sacrificing sleep for movies and late night ice cream runs. Showers that range from cool to cold. Drenching in heavy summer rains (I, for sure, do this at least once per our painfully short but sinfully beautiful summer). Forgetting what boots, layering, and ear muffs mean. Always worrying for those flip flop feet gone dry and dirty. Living for these summers. Soaking in every ounce of the golden sun to stock up for the hibernating winters.
Photograph courtesy: Hannah Olinger at hannaholingerphoto.com
Make it loud and clear. Go for that bigger, unforgiving font if you want. Don’t use words such as “I think”, “as per my opinion”, “I feel”, and the likes. If you are saying it, you are meaning it. Those added accessories of words instil doubt in the listeners and make them question everything else you say or do. Express your needs and wants in assertive, clear words. Don’t say sorry before you ask what is rightly yours. Express your likes and dislikes, both. You don’t need to get disrespectful, aggressive, or defensive to express your disagreement. Go after what you want unrelentingly. Don’t make excuses. Learn to say no in a respectful, but firm manner. Saves a lot of time ;). If you truly are confused, only then ask someone’s opinion. If you notice that you ask for too many opinions and deep down want to hear what you want to hear, get into a habit of skipping the extra step of asking for the opinion in the first place. Don’t just open your mouth and repeat or echo back what the other person is saying, unless you mean it. Staying silent or expressing your perspective are always your options. Make decisions. Any decisions. Have faith that if things go south, you are completely capable of taking care of them. Truly few things are the end of the world. Step away from the situation, literally. Ya, take that walk in icy weathers or pouring rains, if you must. Makes you realize what minuscule bubble of a situation you’re dealing with when you come across homelessness and disabilities on the street. Makes you chuckle at yourself for building such a big mountain of your phantom troubles. Plan a little, roll a little. Too much of either is insane. You’ll know when to stop and plan or when to stop the plan. Don’t let work, words, and wants sit for too long. Crises happen when they go stale. Compliment without being asked but don’t criticize unless asked. Almost always goes well. Do that thing that’s been itching you….
Photograph credit: Etienne Boulanger at instagram.com/etiennezou
Un-do. My trembling fingers feel the word with an insatiable lust. Like a shirt of a lover long gone, I hug it through the nights, longing for it. Like a sign of my favourite chocolaterie, closed by the time I get there, I stare at it with mouth watering hunger. Un-do. Like an exciting fantasy, nerve-racking if turns true. Un-do. A scandalous promise to wash me off of all responsibility for my prior actions. A guilt-laden sigh escaping each time I imagine being relieved of my doings. Un-do. A paradise maybe too irresponsible to imagine, and yet, luring with its tantalizing, sinful bliss. Un-do. The sensations of shackles coming off both of my shoulders, freeing. Like the construction zone finally ending and I can zoom up my RPMs, rushing away from stagnancy. Un-do. Finally breathing, letting tears roll out, closing my eyes, yet seeing through my skies, being able to fly. Un-do. Didn’t do.