Insecurity, Indecision and Other Moody Feelings

Another February. Another dusty blog. Sigh.

I think I’ve done it again —  bitten off more than I can chew. For the past few weeks, I’ve been aching to finish a new blog post, anxious to complete a short story, desperate to draft an article for a travel website I supposedly write for (supposedly because I’ve been working on article 2 for about 2 months now), and I haven’t managed to make much progress with any of them.

I’m in a funk.

I’ve suddenly become much too overwhelmed and it’s just perfect because my particular brand of overwhelmed equates to me freezing up and not doing anything productive… and then I get even more overwhelmed. And it’s not that I have no ideas for what I want to write, it’s just that whenever I go to write or do anything very creative, I almost physically hurt because it feels like my words are gut punching me with their awfulness, saying that my work is too boring, unoriginal, poorly executed. This is my rampant fight with perfectionism at it’s best. When it all comes down to it, I still live the life of an insecure writer.

So, what I would really like to write is a blog post giving advice or encouragement  or motivation, some sort of way to help my fellow writers in the funk to get out of it. But I can’t. Or I don’t want to. I don’t know if I know how to. At moments like these, I feel almost like a fraud, able to dole out advice one second, but unable to take it. And it feels strange making a post so personal and negative, but at this point, I feel like I just need to write what’s on my mind. And this is it. I hope I don’t regret posting this.

I feel disappointed in myself. Upset at my inability to keep up with some of the goals I set for myself this year. Upset at feeling so directionless. Peter says I need to give myself a break when it comes to my writing because I wrote a novel last year and perhaps I’m just creatively exhausted. And he’s probably right (he is more than I give him credit for if I’m being honest), but I don’t want to take a break. I’m not sure if I know how to take a break from writing, even if it is a much needed one.

And the other thing is, I’m not entirely convinced that what I’m writing is all bad, bad, bad. I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m a bad writer. I have to remind myself that I did get my degree in writing, and that I worked my ass off for it, and it wasn’t just part of some long con. That’s got to mean something, right? No, the thing that’s been bothering me is just that I feel overly… mediocre. I aim high, and I only seem to come out in the middle and that’s discouraging.  If I fell flat on my face, I could somehow figure out a way to get better, but being in the middle is strange and I’m not sure I see a way to get past it.

I’ve also been fighting with this whole love-hate relationship that’s been going on with my job lately. On one hand, I desperately want a job with regular hours and to be done with having a different schedule every week, sacrificing date nights with my boyfriend and friends, taking long bus rides, wiping butts and snotty noses and dealing with all the crying. On the other hand, I’m reminded often how much I love my job and the flexibility, how I get to tell people how much to pay me, and even if the kids are gross their snuggles are sweet, and I get to sleep in the middle of the day sometimes and I can take of weeks if I really need to, and, to be honest, it’s kind of the ideal schedule for writing. But I can’t nanny and babysit forever, can I? Moreover, I don’t want to. So what’s the next step?

Well now I find myself reading travel blogs of fellow black women who just said fuck you to everything and left to travel the world and write and explore and meet new people of all different cultures, and are able to make money in the meantime it so they can keep financing this lifestyle and I have to wonder… why don’t I just do that? That sort of life sounds like a dream really… so why can’t I make it my reality? Don’t I want to?

Last year I wanted my main focus to be on my novel, and this year, I wanted it to be focused more on me living a healthier lifestyle, exploring different interests and more media, but the question of my career has been looming large over my head, and I wonder if putting it off for another year like I silently planned is really the best idea. I wonder if possibly I’m supposed to be really searching and figuring out what I ultimately want to do with my life this year and what’s going to make me happy and dammit I thought it would be easier than this but it’s not.

I know I put too much pressure on myself. And I know it’s silly to think that I can compartmentalize my years to focus on one specific thing at a time, but I’m just sick of feeling so out of control and when I feel like I’m losing it, my automatic response is grip tighter, to organize. But organizing life isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. None of this is easy. I thought maybe at 24 I might have it figured out by now. Not everything. But some things. More than I do now. But I don’t. I don’t know what  I’m doing. And I’m sick of it.

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