First off, I'm not very good with this whole blogging thing. I got an old-fashioned series of journals on this rickety cheap-ass bookshelf next to me where I can rant incoherently about things that are bugging me AND NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW.
But that's kind of the problem. I have grown so used to bottling up and not acting upset, because being upset when I grew up meant punishment. If I cried, I got yelled at, grounded, slapped, hair-pulled, sent to my room, called names, and told to stop it, you're only making it worse. If sniffled on my bed in time-out, I had to stay there longer. If I complained, I got sour looks and more grounding. I spent more time in my room, on my bed, alone, furious, than anywhere else. As the oldest, it my responsibility to take care of the babies, to devote all my time at home to watching them, changing their diapers, entertaining them, feeding them, putting them to bed, and picking them up when they cried. There was no rest. No break. Any mistake, and I was slapped or kicked or grounded again. As a young teen dealing with this stress on top of hormones, it was practically impossible to stop myself from crying or to keep my mouth shut, but I did my best.
And I eventually succeeded. I mean, I got to move away from this life. I moved in with my mother in Kansas City for most of high school. (Which, if you read my previously posted comics, it was much like a "out of the frying pan and into the fire" kind of deal, haha.) But by then I had already made myself a wall of concrete, steady and thick. I was cold, now. No one could hurt me.
And sure, it's been helpful, this wall. I don't take criticism badly. I've never cried or thrown things after a bad critique of my work, art or writing or otherwise. Why the hell would I? I grew up redneck trailer-park white trash in Oklahoma with drug-addled heavy metal parents. "I just don't understand these characters motives" is hilarious to me, not offensive. I'm able to brush off or even laugh at most double-edged remarks or back-handed compliments made by instructors, bosses, or friends. When I get turned down for something, I don't let it get to me.
But the problem is, I got so good at separating my inner self from my outer self, so good at building this thick ass layer of metaphorical suntan lotion on my skin, that I forgot that sometimes I have to let other people see the super, super pale and kinda creepy creature underneath. After years of pretending everything was okay, I realized that not only is it not okay, but I can tell people about it! And some of them would like to hear it! A harsh part of me snidely hisses in my ear, "You're being selfish, saying that. It's all about YOU isn't it? Stop talking about yourself. Do you think they care? They only care because its a weird story and your life is like a made-for-TV drama. They don't actually care. You're only making it worse." And sometimes, that voice might be right. If I keep listening to it, though, I'll never talk at all and I'll always feel like people are only looking at the shell of me. That they'll just judge me without knowing the whole picture.
So, this is why I have a terrible time writing nonfiction.
And... my fiction as well. See, I spent almost all of my academic years writing fiction I didn't want to write. I wasn't a fancy shmancy high brow literary writer. I wanted, honestly, to write genre-fiction. Good, weird, well-written, character-driven and experimental genre-fiction. The kind of stuff that "literary" teachers can't be bothered to peruse. "Oh, it's got the word detective in the first sentence. Cut it out." So, I took all the stories I really, really wanted to write and I put them on a back burner. These were my treasures, my babies, my loves. I went to them when I was down, or up, or just because. I daydreamed about them during work. Drew pictures, wrote notes about characters and plot during lectures. I felt so free with these stories because I didn't have to show them to a professor or my peers for critique. I could do whatever I wanted.
Now that I'm done and I'm out of the academic spotlight, I can work on these projects.
And it terrifies me. Because now it's real. All my pale, strange, off-putting, and sometimes ugly little parts of me are going to be seen.
But, if I'm going to actually get any writing done, I need to remember that this is what I've always wanted, even if I'm not quite there yet and there's work to be done.
I've won. It's okay now. I've won.
P.S. here's some stupid MSPaint drawings of my cats sleeping.
|monty is a fatass|
|Is this normal?|