I’m sorry for all the less helpful or constructive, more personal posts going up lately. I really am. I’m trying my best to create the best possible content for you. This is a really hard time of year for me. Not an excuse, I know. Some days all you can do is your absolute best, even if it’s not the best you’ve ever done. I’m a perfectionist, but I’m learning, slowly, that it’s okay not to be all the time.
Sometimes, I really struggle with words. I’m better at writing them down than I am speaking them out loud as it is, so when even writing them seems impossible, I’m stuck. It’s not very often that I find myself so out of sorts I can’t even write.
The first thing I do when I wake up, usually, is fill up a few pages in my journal with thoughts. It’s a healthy, necessary activity for me. I don’t post personal things on social media, so it’s how I work through my frustration, confusion, doubt, even excitement and the good kind of anticipation (my favorite emotion).
I know I’m in trouble when even journaling is a struggle.
Mind you, I’m not living a terrible life. I’m really not. The things wearing me down are big things in my head, because that’s how everyone views their own personal tribulations. It’s not about, “Oh, I have it much worse than you.” Or it shouldn’t be, anyway. To you, that thing is your worst thing. To you, it’s an unbearable obstacle, and if you can’t get around it, you have to figure out your own way to work through it.
Usually, for me, words are my way of working through it. Lately, words alone haven’t been quite enough. Toward the end of every year I start looking back into the archives of my life, so to speak, which can be both constructive and destructive. I do it a lot less than I used to. But there’s an anniversary coming up I’m not looking forward to, and as much as I love the holidays, it’s stressful as an adult. Especially when you’re the kind of person who would rather give than receive, worry about others instead of yourself.
People keep asking me what I want for Christmas. I don’t have an answer for them. I want abstract things. For my friends and family to be happy. Energy to keep going so I can continue helping other people. Time to reflect without feeling guilty about it.
I’ve been turning to songwriting (lyrics and music, I studied that a little in school too, as if two degrees weren’t enough) to handle sorting through all these memories, which I haven’t done in a long time. You saw an early draft of one a few weeks ago. It’s weird to me. It’s like writing a poem, but it’s different. It takes words and gives them a completely different feel.
So instead of writing a letter to someone I miss, which I’ve tried and can’t do because I don’t know what to say in what order, I write a song instead. It just flows right out onto the page. I’ve been writing songs for over 10 years (not necessarily good ones), and I still don’t understand how my thoughts and emotions just spill out when I’m putting words to a melody, as opposed to writing straight prose.
Whatever gets you through the day, I guess.
Eventually, when I’m ready, I’m going to start sharing these songs via Storie. I love blogging and talking to cameras (sometimes) and being honest and trying to be helpful, but as a writer and creator, when one form of storytelling doesn’t work, doesn’t satisfy you, doesn’t send the message you want to send, you have to find another way, a better way.
Does that scare me? Duh. It terrifies me. It took me years to work up the courage to blog and share my writing with other people. My music is personal and deep and I don’t like exposing myself that way. But I can’t keep writing posts like this to you because I don’t have another outlet. I need another medium to express the things that are bothering me, so I can focus on helping you write stuff better.
Just know that I’m trying. I’m doing the best I can. You are in my thoughts always. If you have any suggestions about ‘how-to’ or ‘blank ways to write blank’ posts, send them my way, if you can. That would really help me continue to help you over the next few weeks, which is, truthfully, all I want to be able to do. I mean it.
Image courtesy of Austin Kirk/flickr.com.
Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.