It’s been a while, WordPress.
But I feel as if a fog has lifted and suddenly the path is clear.
In my absence I have been busy. I feel like there’s so much to catch you up on. For one, I turned 24. On my birthday I dropped acid and raved at a show. The next morning I woke up and felt older. Every year they ask me if I feel older. This time I do.
I haven’t been blogging, but I have been writing. If anything, I’ve been writing more. I avoid the computer, preferring my notebooks. So my thoughts and ideas lay scattered. At my coffee shop I’ll sit for hours with four separate notebooks, jotting in them. I’m tricking my ADHD by switching books when I start to get distracted. So I’ll write a poem in my poem book, then jump to my joke book and work on standup, transition to a story, then back to a joke, and oooo—somebody interesting just walked past me, so I best make an observation in my handy dandy Thought Catcher. A homeless man walked by me and called me weird. It was strangely electric.
Every week I do standup open mic. This has been going on for 5 months. Two weeks ago I had my best set ever. Everybody actually laughed at me when I wanted them to. And the Vets congratulated me. (Premise-Cats prepare females for boyfriends. I.E. Men are like stray cats.) I cut the fat, edited the shit out of it and practiced in my mirror. (I also watched a lot of Maria Bamford–my new favorite.) It was invigorating. I love performing.
Every other week I attend a poetry open mic. I’m prideful and consider myself one of the better poets, but lately I’ve been humbled by the talent that arrive and pour their heart out. The community challenges me. I leave knowing what I have to do next time to be better.
And there’s so many lessons to learn from open mics. I am learning. I am becoming better.
These open mics happen on Tuesdays.
For the past year I have been teaching a creative writing class for middle schoolers on Tuesdays, too. I do this through a nonprofit. We publish the work at the end. This program has been the most fulfilling thing in my Life. I have been inspired and challenged and moved by these children.
I’ve been asked by the NPO to teach another class. A more advanced class to high schoolers for an entire year and I WILL BE PAID FOR IT. It’s only 15 hours a week, BUT GOD DAMN IT I’M GOING TO BE PAID TO DO SOMETHING I FUCKING LOVE AND I DIDN’T EVEN PUT IN A RESUME. I WAS FUCKING ASKED TO DO IT!!
(excuse the caps, it’s just terribly, incredibly exciting.)
Over the summer there are no classes. (duh). But I have been asked by the nonprofit to lead a Fiction Writing Group for the volunteers. So last week I started the first meeting. There’s 5 of us and we meet at a coffee shop and share our work and encourage one another. It is the first time I’ve had a group like this. I’m the youngest and I’m leading it! It’s crazy. I told them I want to write a short story a week and I definitely have not written one yet. BUT
GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING.
And will continue to happen.
And I have big, big, big dreams and a lot of dumb will power to keep torturing myself like this.
Things will not simply happen. I have to push myself. I have to make myself. This is apart of growing up. It is having the faith to believe in yourself and the discipline to do it.
I’m incredibly undisciplined. My life is in shambles. It doesn’t look like that from the outside. (I’m very scattered brain, I told somebody. Well, you seem very composed to me, they said. HA.) I have been running from my problems. I’ve been shoving all my laundry in the closet. I’ve been turning my eyes. Avoiding. I’m scared shitless. I haven’t paid my student loan bill in months. Each week I tell myself I’m going to call them and FIX it but I stare at the phone scared shitless.
I stare at my blank word document scared.
I’m learning though.
Life is a lot like a stage.
And every week I go on a stage. Every Tuesday I prepare a 5 minute set and try to get them to smile. I read out loud my poetry scribbled on napkins hoping for a reaction.
Every week I’m scared shitless to go on stage.
My hands get clammy. My chest tightens. My heart whirls. My physical body reacts in such crazy ways to stage fright. I tap on the table. I tap my foot. I chain-smoke cigarettes. My mouth gets dry.
My friends ask me if I’m all right. It’s just nerves.
You’ll do great.
I take a deep breath. I walk on stage. People clap for me. Then I perform.
Every week I am terrified and every week I conquer that fear.
I’m terrified of putting words on a page. I am scared that the ideas in my head will not translate. That they are better left unsaid. That somebody else could say it better. That my words will not weigh.
I’ve been making myself write,
like I make myself walk on that stage,
just word after word. sentence after sentence. until you get to the bottom of the page. Then you flip it over and do it again.
Writing fiction take an incredible amount of trust.
And I am learning to trust myself.
I want to start a podcast. And I want to start another blog that I can actually show people. I’ll keep this blog. I need this blog. This is personal and private and practice. This is for your eyes only and I don’t even know who you are. (Lesson learned to not give out this URL to real life people, especially romantic interests.) And you don’t know who I am. You’re probably a writer if you’re reading this.
So you probably know the struggle.
I’m going to tailor this blog more for me. In the past I’ve posted to impress you. Still, I hope you like it.
It’s good to be back.