Why do I give up? There are all sorts of reasons. I lose interest, I get distracted by something more engaging or more immediate, I lose sight of my objective, I find the effort required greater than the effort I am willing or able to invest, I have considered the potential impact of success and decided that I am simply not ready to adjust my life to accommodate a “win”. There are infinite reasons and infinite excuses. Sometimes I realize quite simply that I am pursuing the wrong outlet for my ambition. At some point I chose to be a defeatist. At some point I decided that I didn’t deserve or even require happiness. As a teenager I saw all happiness as pageantry. If I wanted to be a writer I had to suffer. I would love to say that I understood the superficiality of that assumption as soon as I reached adulthood but it was many years before I began to question that stereotype.
Our experiences are varied and sometimes, due to circumstance, limited. I do think writers need to be willing to explore their hearts and psyches, that they have to remain open and permeable so that they can soak in experience but I do not think that one has to have an extraordinary life in order to be themselves extraordinary. I want a peaceful, unassuming kind of life, but a life full of extraordinary emotions. Authentic emotions. Being human is an invitation to possibility. The heart has endless capacity and rather than glorify suffering, as if suffering alone were essential to my development, I want to embrace the moment in whatever sentiment it manifests. It is not a question of worth. I am alive and that is really all the validation I need.
Fear is perfectly natural and I personally do not believe life gets easier. If life is anything like video games it probably gets harder each time you progress and that’s how it should be if you think about it. I kept thinking my shyness would lessen on exposure or lessen if I assumed the right facade but some years ago I came to think that being shy is fine so long as it doesn’t disable self-respect. Right now I am disabled. My biggest concern is that I don’t yet have the courage to speak up for myself. That is the main thing I want to learn how clearly express my intentions and how to clearly say no when I feel unsafe. I have gotten to the point where praise and criticism do not cripple, which is a significant milestone but I still feel uncomfortable expressing my needs.
Today I am happy. I am absolutely in love with writing (with the activity not necessarily the products of my labor) and all those fears that in the past stifled my creativity do not dampen in the slightest my resolve.