kol: (Overcome with emotion)
[personal profile] kol
The common thread of anxiety the past few years has been what I want to do with my life. I have never understood ambition-- what drives me is not success in the traditional sense, as I have no urge to be "the best" at anything. My dreams are friendships and warmth and enjoying the good things in life-- achieving joy with others is the closest I can conceptualize success. Even in terms of a writing career, my aims have always been to make people feel, to have an impact (hopefully positive) on their lives, to fabricate stories that connect me to the greater world.

I've always felt I am here to do good in this world, and for me, that good is my words. I've never felt a stronger calling-- I've had good ideas for projects, like creating an organization to train & support female developers in Silicon Valley, but I've never had the drive or the will to actually bring that project into fruition. But with my words I can, from miles away, bring smiles to people's faces, be a support system when their days have gone wrong, entertain my loved ones with diversions when they just can't cope any longer. To me writing is a two part solace-- not just therapeutic in me writing it, but also in those who read it. I'd make a shitty shrink, but maybe my words can do the healing I'm incapable of doing.

So putting together a path to achieve my writing aims has always been difficult, and often led to stepping on complacency mines. Developing Kingdom and the community that sprang up has been one of the greatest achievements I can claim, but I did a lot of wrong there, and masked it under good intentions. The mine here was being comfortable, with fearing challenges, with fearing change. When things started to slow due to neglect, then came the delusion that everything was okay, blissfully ignoring all the signs as the community drifted away.

Hiding in false comfort in the face of things wasting away is a reoccurring problem for me, because when things get stressful, my tactic is to avoid. To hide. To ignore. To pretend everything is perfect. It is a terrible adaption technique I am still working to excise from my life, and has singlehandedly held me back from so many damned things I cannot possibly count them all.

Complacency mines are hard to avoid because they are near impossible to see except in hindsight. We understand the familiar and oftentimes strive for easy, but this does no justice for our futures. Achieving our dreams takes a lot of hard work and very little comfort-- you need to be capable of wanting more, and complacency mines are frequently your mind being terrified to want anything else. To view yourself as worthy of the challenge. To even be aware there is a challenge to be had.

I lost my drive in 2010, could no longer feel I had any sort of a future at all. I spoke often of no longer having dreams, but rarely of the terror that brought. And in my struggles against depression and now anxiety, I lost the awareness that I could be anything more. I lost sight of what is important to me-- in fact it could be argued that I had lost sight of who I really was. Because when I am healthy, I can see that I am a writer before I am woman or Giants fan or anything else. I am a bearer of words and giver of feelings and it is from that spring that I can do great things. I can be great. I am great.

Writing challenges often are complacency mines for me while I am battling depression-- I can reach word goals with more ease than others, but it is difficult for me to share my words with others when I am not healthy. I can pat myself on the back for achieving a raw number of words at the end of the day... but what does that actually mean for my greater goals? How is this impacting the world, when I am terrified of opening myself up for others to see what the suffering of my soul on paper has brought forth? Writing has lost most of its native joy these last few years, and yet still I persisted. I kept writing, because it was the way I could keep my head above water and pretend everything was okay, when in fact I've been sick for a very long time. The struggle kept me real, kept everything okay.

Since 2010 I have lost my courage and my conviction. I have lost my fire and my drive. I have lost a large portion of my creativity. I have lost friendships and many vital connections to the world, ones that I have no idea how I will ever replace and ache for daily. I have lost so much of the fabric of who I am that sometimes I wonder if I can ever truly be whole again, if it is really worth trying. I have lost my voice and my faith and my joy, and still I write. The words are horrible misshapen things unfit for any eyes, lingering in my mind when my fingers cannot bear to commit them to paper. Still I create, because I am a writer even if the good words have left me. Even if I rarely view myself as worthy of them.

So answering what do I want to do with myself is deeply loaded and not easily answered by a job or to achieve a career benchmark. I cannot make a five year plan, because that itself would be another road filled with complacency traps. What I want to do with myself is to share joy with my writing, but I cannot do that until I have accepted that I deserve to be healthy. That I am worthy of the calling a part of me has always known I've had. To accept there are no bad words, only the words I am capable of forming in that moment because they are the truth as I experience them, that the depression lies and they are not as terrible as it would seem. That they have every bit as much a place as the so called good words, because they are part of who I am, and that is a glorious and worthy person!

So to answer that question? What I want is be healthy and let the words sing across pages to the hearts of others. To inspire changes in the lives of people I will never meet. To make my friends smile on their worst days. To make people feel with the touch of my pen to paper. To live a life of joy and words.

So no, I'm not a traditionally ambitious person. But damned if that isn't pretty heady stuff!

Date: 2015-03-25 11:52 am (UTC)
thez: Ari IS Inspector Spacetime! Somewhen. (Default)
From: [personal profile] thez
I just woke up and my thoughts aren't quite coherent yet, so I'll probably have more to add later, but I wanted to thank you for sharing this!

Date: 2015-03-25 01:56 pm (UTC)
tatterpixie: crown of success (mojo)
From: [personal profile] tatterpixie
*big hugs* Thank you for sharing this. Depression is a horrible lying thing that lies. Love you. <3

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