Thursday, March 10, 2011

when you wait for the dawn to crawl through the screen like a burglar to take your life away*

I am a 20 year old getting my BA in Creative Writing with a minor in Political Science and yeah, I know those are two completely different things.

My therapist told me there are steps to becoming [x]. Like there are steps to becoming anything. Like if I want to be a writer then I have to do this this this this this this and this and this like everybody else and then I will be a writer. And if I want to be something else then I will have to do all the steps to become that. I said I feel like I should be doing more things right now. I said my life feels boring and like a habit. My therapist said what did I expect I am an undergrad I am doing all that I am supposed to be doing right now.

I grew up thinking there was a world of possibilities for me. I could be anything. Anything! Anything in the whole world! When I was 12 we had to present a project to our class of what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wanted to be a hockey player. I told my teacher I didn't need to learn math because I would be a hockey player and I could pay someone to be my agent and do that shit for me. I wanted to go to the olympics.

Then I learned that women cannot (yet) be professional hockey players (unless you're Hayley Wickenheiser (but you're not)); they have to pay to play and have jobs on the side. Or, really, have a job and play hockey on the side. And there are 80 trillion people in Canada who play hockey, and ~23 players on the olympic hockey team, so, yeah, you do the math. I can't.

Anyways, the moral of that little story is that I learned I can't be just anything. So in high school I decided I wanted to be a writer, which was the other thing I was good at. I liked to write fiction but I really wanted to be a poet because I loved to read and write it. Cool, but you know where this is going right. The moral of this story is that I can write poetry but I can't be T.S Eliot (toilets) and I had good ending for this sentence but I can't remember it.

Blah, blah. That's depressing, yada, yada. But I'm still doing what I like to do, which is nice. Only now, instead of being confident that YES I WILL BE A MOTHERFUCKING WRITER LIKE JK ROWLING i am terrified by the statistics and the idea that I will have to work a part-time job at American Eagle to make rent because only 5 people will read my poems and only 1 person will buy it because everything is available online for free. And I am terrified that I'm only average. That my writing is mediocre. That I am good, but just "good", and not like, Irving Layton Award Finalist good. You know? Ever felt like you were just "average"?

I was wondering, as I left my therapists office, when adults lose their sense of possibility. When is this shift from thinking there's more than one way to do things, to being convinced that everyone who doesn't walk in a straight line is lost? I feel like I am on the cusp of maybe realizing that I do need to do this this this this this this and this and this to "become" a "writer". And I'm doing it? I am totally following this nice little path that's been paved for me. Is a BA is the new high school diploma? What is life?

Part of me is trying to cling to this idealistic rebellious free-thinker hopeful defy-all-odds mover shaker dreamer achiever view of the world. Is the 'real world' a box that, once you go inside of, you can never get out of?

Katrina dropped out of college but she's one of the smartest people I know. And when she writes, she has 10 times more stories to tell than I do. See, I want to be a writer, but I don't have much to say, which might be a weird thing for me to say as I've had this blog for over 2 years now.

It all just sounds average to me. Like everyone else feels the same way as me and we are all going to write the same thing.

*bukowski wrote this


edgarallentoes said...

woman, so many of the things you say are like MRIs

magnetic, resonant, and uhhh.. imaging

no but really. toilets wasn't always toilets. he was a latrine first, and a lot of people probably thought he was full of shit.

call me naive, but i think you have it in you, if only based on this post alone.

ari yells said...

I think maybe it's when you lose that sense of possibility and expecting to 'become something' that you actually become a grown-up.

saint modesto said...

i feel better after having written this.

edgarallentoes: oh, you. so witty and kind.

ari yells: i want to grow up but i don't want to be a grown up. maybe i should write children's books.

Anonymous said...

stop. stop thinking. numbers statistics whatever. stop. life isn't about numbers. life is about doing what you love to do. if you like to write, and writing makes you feel good, then write. dont write like you're JK Rowling, write like you're emily choo. because emily choo is fucking cool.

average isn't a fact, it's a matter of opinion, and if you were to write a childrens book, i'd be that one person who'd buy it.

saint modesto said...

that made me feel good, anon. come home soon.

that girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

will do, honeybuns.