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John Green Takes Anxiety Meds: Why Sometimes It’s OK To Admit That You Just Can’t Anymore

Among my friends and loved ones, it’s no secret that I suffer from OCD– you know, that anxiety disorder that people without it use to make excuses for being controlling and anal (Which drives me up the wall, by the way). The thing that not many people know of, is the struggle that I’ve had in coming to terms with the fact that I’m medicated.

Zoloft is a pretty neat little pill. You take it every day, and eventually there’s enough in your system so that dealing with the anxiety that sometimes makes it hard to go into public places is a whole lot easier. In the beginning, I was okay that I was medicated. By the end of the year, I was not.

Evil little bastard, you are. (Even though you do good things)

I didn’t like having to check certain cough meds to make sure that they were okay to take when I had a cold (most of them weren’t).

I didn’t like not being able to take Advil when I had a headache.

I’m not much of a drinker, but I hated having to explain to people why I had turned down their offers with an “I can’t” instead of  a”no thank you” (Which I realize I didn’t have to do, but people stop asking faster when you tell them that there’s a reason you can’t drink– welcome to the world of the university student).

I hated having to listen to people– sometimes close friends– talk to me about all of the different options and how sometimes people with medication were weak–butnotmeofcoursenotI’mthestrongestgirltheyknew they are always quick to add.

But most of all, I hated the fact that I had to rely on a little pill to make my brain and body function enough so that I could live a normal life. And they didn’t even work all that well.

By the end of the year, especially in moments of high stress, I discovered that on top of the anxiety every student gets around exam time, the one thing that was causing me the grief that the pills couldn’t counteract was my OCD itself.

The pills were treating the symptom, not the cause.

You see, then I felt silly. Of course they weren’t working all the time. I was taking a pill to calm the anxiety so that I could more easily ignore the issues that were causing it. After a few weeks of being out of school and feeling myself calm down enough to start rationalizing my way through things, I went to the doctor and explained my theory. He seemed to agree, and suggested, now that I was living in a different province, that I waited until I went back to school to go see a councilor who would help me work on attacking the root of my problem. Then, the moment I had been waiting for for months arrived: he agreed to lower my dosage so that I could begin the process of weaning off of the Zoloft.

I was proud. I was strong. I hadn’t quite beaten it, but I was getting better, and that was a total plus. Good for me.

Except it’s been about two weeks since then, and I’m back to pre-medication anxiety levels–in some cases, not all. I’ve found success in dealing with it by using exercise, and I have to be open with my family a whole lot more so they can reassure me of things that my OCD twists around and makes abnormal (which is perhaps the most frustrating part, because I feel silly and irrational and dumb). It’s exhausting, and sometimes I’m very discouraged, but I will work through this doing the best that I can.

After I excitedly informed my parents that I was coming off of the Zoloft, my mum smiled, and gently told me that if I couldn’t take it, then I could always be put back on a regular course. I laughed, because there was no way I’d do that again.

Now, I’m not so sure.

There are a variety of environmental factors I’m taking into account that could be causing the sudden surge in anxiety, and I’m going to ride out the storm for awhile longer, but some days I want to quit and call the doctor. It is on those days where I feel that I’m at my weakest. I’m embarrassed, yet again, that I may have to admit to myself that I may need medication to function. I get frustrated and beg God to take it away, to make me better so that I don’t have to deal with anything anymore. If there is one thing that’s kept me sane since my diagnosis, it’s Him. Except, he rarely ever gives me exactly what I want. That’s the thing about the Big Man Upstairs. He answers your prayers, always, but most of the time they’re in ways that you don’t expect.

 

 

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Or, you know, we can just stay the way we are. That’s fine. We’ve evolved enough. At least we walk on land now.

Today, I was reading through a feed on Reddit that John Green was using to talk to fans. One of them asked about his past with anxiety, and he began to talk about his use of medication–daily and for years– combined with the exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy that I will be seeking in the next few months.

John Green. Nerdfighter, Vlog Brother, Author of some of the coolest books for young adults on the market, and on top of being active and talking to experts, he has to use medication to deal with anxiety.

It’s not because he’s weak.

And evidently, it does nothing to hamper his creative genius.

And, he’s not embarassed to talk about it.

To be honest, I’m not ready to accept the fact that I may need a little yellow pill to keep me running. But maybe there’s something okay about having to admit that I wasn’t ready in the first place. Maybe it isn’t admitting defeat.

Part of getting better is learning to listen to what your body needs. I am sick, after all. It’s not a cold– though my allergies have me wheezing up a storm, over here–but it is a brain-sickness. And sometimes, in order to cure or lessen the symptoms of a disease, or a virus, or a disorder, you need medicine.

If John Green can take his medicine, then so can I.

(If I have to admit that I need it, of course).

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(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

After a few weeks of letting the story I’ve dreamed up settle and grow in my head, at the beginning of this week I started to seriously undertake the process of writing my novel. I remember that when I started this blog, I talked a lot about another book I was writing. There were entire posts dedicated to the earnestness of my venture and how much time I put into it. One year, a scrapped project and a massive revelation later, I can’t help but notice a difference between the first time I tried to do this, and now.

If you remember, I wrote a post about a week ago on my motivations for writing before versus my motivations today (I’ll link it here, if you’re new and think I’m cool, or something–> https://mercysbrainscrapings.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/something-beautiful-sorry-audience-this-isnt-for-you/). While I was in high school, I developed an image of two friends, and their interactions became a full-fledged plot-line, filled with enough action and cool science-fiction-y stuff that I became sure that once it got published, Tom Cruise would read the manuscript and be like, “OPRAH. I’M IN LOVE. I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS. I NEED THIS TO BE A MOVIE. CALL SPIELBERG, CALL BAY, THE PEOPLE NEED THIS.”

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Tom, it’s okay, we both got excited about things that didn’t last.

Of course, it was geared toward kids my age, and if it had ever become a film, Tom Cruise was the last person I’d want in it, but the ideas I had had swirling around in my head had me thinking along the lines of movie deals and the New York Times bestseller list. And so my baby idea that began innocently enough became so influenced by what I thought people would have wanted that it grew too big for me to handle. I became overwhelmed, trying to connect things that I hadn’t wanted in the story in the first place, and as I got more and more frustrated, I began to doubt my ability. Then, as things got in the way, I– and it pains me to admit it– gave up. Like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, I professed my greatest joy to the world, and ended up divorcing it (Though, similarly to what the press is saying about Miss Holmes, I’m much happier on the other side). I will write that story one day when I’m more experienced, but for now, I will hold on to the original idea, still untouched even after all of the, erm, procedures, and wait until I feel that it’s time to pull it out again.

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That project shall be forever known as the “Joan Rivers Venture”

Now, in beginning to understand myself and understand what it is I want to tell people, something in my writing has changed. And I don’t mean the style– I couldn’t change that even if I tried– but the feeling I get when I do it. I know what I need this story to reveal, and even in the moments where I’m unable to find the words to use to get that message out and have to spend half a freaking hour typing and hitting delete and writing and crossing out until I’m happy with it **takes a deep breath because no punctuation** I feel like I’m going in the write (HAHA, puns) direction. There is this weird sense of satisfaction that comes with finally writing the story you’ve been meant to tell; something that just fits you and follows the current of wherever your mind was heading in the first place. It makes the insane amount of hard work I’m doing worth it. I’m both very pleased and pleasantly surprised with the direction my book has taken; now I can truly start doing what I launched this blog for in the beginning.

I have started, therefore I will finish. And I won’t be happy until I do, so if you care to follow an ambitious nineteen year old on a journey that pulls her in way over her head, be ready to see this through ’til the end.

If you’ve been reading me from the beginning, or have just stumbled upon my ramblings, thank you for the support so far. The amount of encouragement I’ve been receiving is very reassuring.

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You rock so much that if I were this squirrel, I’d totally give you that flower.

 

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Talking to Strangers Taught me Things. (Sorry, Mum)

Depending on the day, I can either be a total people person, or a real-life version of Gollum– you know, before Bilbo took the ring. On those days, I loathe anyone who makes eye contact and try not to leave the house.

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Precious doesn’t want to go outside, the sun doesn’t likes him, no it doesn’t…sss…sss

One of my goals for getting better is to tell myself on those latter sorts of days to suck it up, princess. The world goes on regardless of whether or not you’re stuck inside. Why don’t you go enjoy it? Stop missing stuff! –that type of thing.

When I was invited to check out an outdoor weekend market a few towns over last night, I said yes for two reasons: the first, because it was a family outing. I’m not going to say no to a family outing, especially if they’ve been kind enough to take me in for the summer. Second: because every fiber of my being told me that I shouldn’t go. Not because of any weird intuition, or anything telling me that we were going to crash and die on the way down (ain’t no Final Destination shit goin’ on in here, no sah), but because I did not forsee myself wanting to go out. So before I could convince myself otherwise, I said yes. And then I put my phone down so that I couldn’t pick it back up again and tell them I wasn’t coming.

I regretted it all night. Oh, there’s writing I could be doing, I didn’t have a chance to do that today, oh, I still have to do those dishes, oh I’m still not feeling too hot, sleeping in tomorrow would help me, I’m really going to need Saturday to work.

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In other words.

I regretted it when I woke up at 6:30 this morning to shower before we left at eight. And at seven, when I still hadn’t gotten out of bed.

And at twenty to eight when I– God forbid– pulled out the hairdryer to make sure I didn’t get stuck in a chilly sea-side town with frozen hair in May.

But when I got into the car and we pulled away, I was surprisingly thankful I’d made it that far. I love my family; they know the area better than I do. It was time to explore.

And you know what? When I got there, I began to–gasp– enjoy myself. Not because of all of the booths that allowed potential shopping of goods that no one was going to have, but because in taking everything in, I felt joy, and interest and curiosity and peace. I wandered around and looked at antique furniture, homemade bread, two dollar book sales (girl, you know I hit dat up), jewelry counters. I saw things and met people and not only was my creativity fed, but my soul was too. For the first time in a long time, I struck up a conversation with a woman–a complete stranger, careful kids–petting a dog outside of a little shop. We spoke about art. I told her that I was new to the area, and she gushed about its charm and warmth, and in that moment, not only did I believe her, but I saw it; I felt it. We spoke about writing, and she told me how much our county benefited creative people like me. We wandered around and looked at pottery inside the shop we stood in front of, and met the owner and maker of that pottery, and I saw just how people like me can survive in little places like this and be happy.

On the way home, I had a conversation with my aunt, who is wise and beautiful and smart and who knows the world better than I ever could. I learned things.

Also, I bought a cookie. And that cookie tasted awesome.

It’s early afternoon now, and I’m still going to write and read and do all of the things I wanted to do, but instead of moseying around the house, stopping for an hour here and there to surf the net and not change out of my pajamas (or put on pants, for that matter), I’m sitting on my couch, relaxed and thankful for a day that gave me things. Things that I never would have had had I stayed in.

And so my challenge to you is this. Go out. Go out on days where you feel like it the least. Go and find curious places with people and new things, and if you happen to stop for a moment, say hello to anyone close to you. Do not fear the crowds and public places, because even though they’re intimidating, they hold experiences that you aren’t going to get on Netflix, or going through your girlfriend’s latest vacation pics on Facebook. Talk to your family; they know things and they want to share them with you. And for the love of God, not having pants on is not an excuse to stay in. You’re missing real adventure, here.

Today, I found joy in the mundane, because I discovered that sometimes all you need to feel better is to step out the front door for something other than a big night out or a roadie with the girls. And now, as I settle myself down to write some more, I’m ready and willing to explore where this story is going to take me. To be honest, I don’t know where it would have gone had I stayed in.

I can tell you though, not as far.

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Something Beautiful: Sorry, Audience, this isn’t for you.

I discovered something recently that made me smile, and slap a palm to my forehead at the same time (could’ve had a V8, kid.)

I used to write things for the sake of getting noticed. Oh, if I write a book this way, then it’s more likely to sell and I’m more likely to be able to make a living off of something that I enjoy, awesome, whoopdedoo, and all of that fun stuff. So I would take to my laptop, or my 80-page Hilroy– which in the beginning stages of a writing project, I put my first draft in, because my words often flow easier when I feel like I’m bleeding them into paper right from my soul (yeah, morbid thought, I get it, but I’m one of those weird, creative types, remember?)–and write down the idea I thought would be the next bestseller. I would pack it full of action and romance and craziness–though I did my best to keep away from vampires, because the modern generation of that sort of literature has ruined my view of supernatural stories

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Someday, Lestat. Someday.

Seriously; Twilight scared me away from Anne Rice, and I don’t know how I feel about that–

and get to work, confident for the first three weeks that I was going to make it. Except, I would pack in things that everyone was doing. My plots became cliche, my characters bland, and I could tell what was coming next, not because my brain was running as it should, but because my muscle memory was kicking in and writing the ending to the last eight movies I’d watched. I’d get frustrated, try to change up the whole story, while still keeping the things that I thought would make it sell, and then give up because it just wasn’t working.

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If there are infographs about your story type, RUN.

It was only until I started the Gracie Project– which is what I’ll be calling my work for the next three months– that I realized what I’d been doing wrong. For the first time since I started taking writing seriously, I understood what hadn’t worked before. All of the short stories I’d written in the backs of my notebooks or on a whim in planes and cars and in class when I should have been paying attention, is that I was working on things that inspired me, not what inspired my generation to flock to a bookstore at midnight to buy the fourth book in my new, imaginary series. I began Gracie because I had been going through a rough time. She popped in at the right moment, and was doing the things that I wanted to do. She was funny, she was adventurous, and she was completely different from anything I’d ever written before. Suddenly, everything made sense. Every Pinterest quote (yeah, it’s an addiction, so sue me. I’m nineteen; it happens), every page of every author’s interview I’d scrutinized, every memoir, came flooding back to me and I got it.

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I need to tattoo this to my fingers. Seriously.

You must write for yourself, above all. That is your only hope in creating something beautiful.

See that gem? That came from Gustave Flaubert. I’ve read it at least fifty times over the past few years, and most of the time I agreed with it. And then I’d turn around and act as if I didn’t, even though I had completely tricked myself into writing the things I thought other people wanted. Gracie was, and is, my way of curing myself of things that got stuck in my head and made me hurt. She is my medium; she is who I have chosen to tell my truth, and you know what? Though I haven’t worked out all of the details of her adventure, more and more of them are coming to me every day, and that is exciting.

What joy it is to be invited by your own characters to explore new worlds with them. I don’t have to leave my couch to see the things she sees, and I’ve reached a point where I’m not dying to make a daily word count. Instead, I wake up wondering when I can squeeze more of her world into mine. The way I see the world is changing. I’m creating something beautiful, not for a reader (who, if, by some miracle, picks up my manuscript and falls in love with the world the way I’m beginning to, great) but for myself. How can I expect someone to read my work if I haven’t breathed whatever life I could into it?

If you’re reading this, whoever you are, whether you’re a writer, whether you’re a businessman, cab driver, chef, dancer or Office Depot clerk, my challenge to you is this: carry out your passion in such a way that you find yourself inspired. If you exist to serve the opinions– please note I said opinions; helping other people is probably something people should do a whole lot more–of others, how could you ever enjoy what you’re doing? I’m not going to tell you that happiness doesn’t take work. I can’t expect the Gracie story to be easy, but even when the going gets tough, I still want to like what I’m doing, ya feel me?

Do it for yourself. Somehow, the more your work pleases you, the happier you are, and–I swear this is a thing– others begin to see the merit in it. You’ll discover very quickly that those who don’t particularly enjoy what you have to offer don’t matter as much. If, at the end of the day, you are pleased with yourself above all, then off to bed with you, solider, you done good.

Now if you excuse me, I’ve been wanting to make stuff with words all day.

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Down With the A Grades: I am Going to be the Right Kind of Selfish.

It’s been an interesting year. At this point, I’m not sure where to begin, and before anyone with good intentions tells me that “it’s best to start at the beginning, dear,” hear me out, because the beginning isn’t so easy to pick out. I suppose I could start with last April, but if I’ve got to jump all over a timeline, don’t start picking this apart like you would Slaughterhouse Five if you get confused, okay? Okay.
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About this time last year, I was convinced that I was stark, raving mad. Not because I’ve got a fantastic imagination– I believe everyone who writes is insane to an extent, but that’s a good kind of insane. This time, I was sure that there was something wrong with me. I’m not going to go into everything, because I haven’t quite come to terms with things yet, but to put it simply, I got sick. Not the kind of sick that you can sit in bed for a few hours on a Sunday and sleep through classes on a Monday and feel better, but the kind of sick that eats at you from the inside and since the outside is okay, then nobody knows anything is wrong until its too late.

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From the latter half of 2012, to the first four months of 2013, I suffered from something I didn’t even know I had. See, the beauty– and I mean beauty in the most sinister of ways– of mental illness is that it tricks you into thinking that the things going on in your head are your fault. You’re trapped, afraid to tell people that you need help for fear of judgement, hospitalization, the whole shebang, and so you’re stuck, until someone who’s got enough know how catches you with your guard down and convinces you that you’re OK, and that there are ways to fix what’s going on.

I got lucky. I’ve got a family that supports, loves, and knows me better than anyone on the planet, and eventually, I got the help that I needed. A year ago in May, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I began the journey towards being healthy. Let me tell you, kiddies, it ain’t as easy as it looks. There was a period after I began treatment where I did feel better. I started at a new school with a new outlook on life and a new plan to move forward with the things that I loved. Except, other stuff got in the way.

Ahh, the age old excuse. “Life got in the way.” It’s like you’re sixteen with stars in your eyes, ready to take on the world, and suddenly ten years pass and you’re working at an entry level office job with a degree you busted your butt for, hoping for a promotion and wondering why you didn’t pursue marine biology like you had hoped. And almost every person who asks this question to themselves comes up with an answer that directly translates to “life got in the way.”

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Old friend #1: “What ever happened to that detailing business you were going to set up?”

Old friend #2: “Ahh, man, I got offered this summer job at the firm, and they keep asking me back. It’s money, and a stable job, so why not? Besides, I have Dad’s old T-Bird in the garage; I’ll fiddle with it on my spare time. Next week, they’re thinking of moving me to head office.”

Dude, it would have saved you like, five breaths had you only said “life got in the way.”

As I was working on healing myself, without realizing it, I had fallen into the same old routine of working as hard as I could to get straight A’s, and nail all of the extra-curricular activities, working on massive projects because I had myself convinced that I was doing good things for people who deserved it. I’ve got OCD. I’m a perfectionist. If I don’t have all of the best grades, the best body, the best of myself, then I feel like a failure. It’s a messed up cycle of hope, trying to put too much on my plate to achieve my dreams, and then a full-on crash where I lose all energy and motivation and sit depressed for three weeks. Then the whole thing begins again. The sad thing about the cycle I’ve been in since I realized that good grades and involvement got you stickers and certificates, is that it draws me further and further away from the things that make me happy. I lose sight of me, tricked into thinking whatever I’m succeeding at is going to help me be happy and healthy and free.

I think I realized that something had to change after my adviser for Honours History told me my thesis topic was a one way ticket to Law School. Well wouldn’t you bet I took to the internet, had my mum buy me LSAT books (which I still do for fun, because, man, those brain puzzles are addicting), researched different programs and had my bearings set for a new adventure. Of course I had to tell everyone, and they were all so proud. Not to mention that this happened after I made the decision to stop writing for my school newspaper, something that gave me great joy, because I didn’t have enough time.

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That’s it. I’m done. I’m not even proud to say I pulled straight A’s this semester, yet again, and have a GPA of a 3.97. Why? For awhile it was because it wasn’t a 4.0. Is that not sick? Does that not make you want to slap me? If I were into violence, I’d totally give my ears a box. No, right now, I’m not proud of that because I finished out my year unhappy. I finished out my year lost, and unsure of where to go. So I turned to the only thing that I knew would make me happy and healthy. I turned to the bare-boned, base level of anything that has ever made my heart swell: my God, my writing, my books, my runs, and my want for adventure. The only thing that will make me happy is a day of sitting in my little sunny nook writing my stories and my poems and my scripts and my skits and scribbling out the tickles of my imagination until I’m empty for the day. Then, I would get up from my chair and making myself a meal of fruit, water and other cool, juicy, simple things that you can get at a store down the road. I’d go for a run to clear my head and drum up new ideas for the next day. I’d meet up with friends and laugh until my belly hurt, and then go home, read a book, pray and thank God for giving me another day, and then sleep so I could do it all again tomorrow. There will be curve balls, as there always are, but I’ll be able to take them on, because I’ll be on the right track, and when you’re on the right track, you’re motivated to take on things as they happen.

This summer, I can do these things. I’m still pushing myself to get up and start my day and do the things that I love. It’s hard, but I’m doing it. And then come September, I’m going to say no. To everything. To things that I don’t want to do. No more head of societies, no more tutoring sessions (though most likely I’ll keep doing those; I love watching people learn), no more staying up till three to finish a paper two weeks before it’s due. No more straight A’s. If I can pull off a year where I feel good about myself, where I sleep, where I have my disorder under control, where I write and read what I love and still manage to keep my grades, fantastic. If not, it’s not a big deal. I’d rather peace of mind and my imagination intact than letters of congratulations from the Dean.

I’m going to write for the newspaper. That’s it. I’m going to go for my runs, and take creative writing classes. I’m going to sing in the shower again. I’m going to like getting up at eight, just to see the sun. I’m going to fall in love with my degree, and eventually get a job that I love, without sacrificing my need to write. And I’m not going to law school. Then, I’m going to get published. I’m going to get published so much that I’m going to be able to quit that job and write for myself. I’ll write what makes me happy, and I’ll feed my family and I’ll love everyone and everything with the passion of a child, because even though this sounds way too pretty to be a plausible goal, it’s mine, and I’m going to get there because I owe it to my brain and my body to do something for them for once.

In a way, working myself sick for the wrong things is selfish. I think I was heading down a path I shouldn’t have been on because people told me I was good at it, and since I didn’t feel good about myself, I lived for praise like that. I told myself I was doing it for other people, but I think it was justification for something that made me feel less… gross. The high, however, is only temporary. It’s time to do the things I should have done all along.

Yesterday, on my Facebook page, I asked my friends what they would do with their lives if nothing stood in their way. The response was staggering. I know so many inspiring people; and I hope that someday, they will push life to the side of the road and start living. I hope that they get to do the things they told me they’d do, and I hope it makes them happy. Until then, I’m going to work on getting my happy back. And you know what? It’s going to be difficult, but it’s also going to be lovely.

I have my parents, my little sister, my loved ones and friends to thank for helping me get here.

So here’s to another April to April year mark. This one, I’d grade a C.

Let’s push for the only A that matters, shall we?

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Now that’s the kind of high I’m looking for.

 

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The Itch.

The cool thing about having the kind of mind that I do, is that I can get inspiration from just about anything. To put things into perspective, I once wrote a story about fish oil and a christmas present and had it published in a literary magazine. I’ve got an imagination; stuff like that happens all the time. 

Being in an academic setting for as long as I have been (I know. Two whole years. I’m ancient. -.-), I’ve discovered two things: unless you’re attending an arts institution, or have enrolled in some sort of creativity-based elective at the post-secondary level, there isn’t much room for imagination. Now, usually, that would be enough to put a damper on anyone’s muses; do enough research under the guidelines provided and you begin to lose the ability to “think outside the box.” However, recently, I’ve found that in my own situation, the exact opposite is occurring. 

The more I’m stuck writing things that I don’t want to write, the more ideas about the things I do want to write start to pop up in really inconvenient situations. (During a midterm last week I wrote a little note on the back of my test booklet so that when I got it back, I’d remember the quirky little thought that sneaked in while I was supposed to be doing short answer questions. It’s like, no, Dr. P, that isn’t for you).

I would liken it to one of those itches that you get where you can’t quite tell where the irritation is coming from, so you end up scratching around your knee for five minutes hoping to get rid of that tickle ’round your ankle. You know what I mean. I can’t get rid of it. It’s fantastic (the creativity, not the itch).

And I’m not just getting bits about things I want to write, either. It’s about things I want to film, about things I want to do with my dorm room, about places I want to go to see about things I want to write about… the list goes on and on. 

I’ve had to start keeping a notebook; it’s rather silly. 

To make matters worse, I’ve gotten my hands on a video camera. There’s about ten pages worth of scribbles perfect for digital capture. Saturdays are going to be fun for the next few weeks. 

Or weird.

Probably weird.

I’ll letcha know. 

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The Second Someday

I’ve spent most of the last four months wishing that I could blow the dust off of this corner of the internet so I could put some sort of effort into my blog– poor, lonely, little blog– but you know what they say about good intentions: you can wish to do something all you want, but if you don’t actually start it then–

Though there hasn’t been much in the way of updates since August, I’ve lived a life worthy of posting; I just spent more time doing than I did recording. Which, if you’re like me, is positively depressing. But what would a good story be without some sort of experience behind it, right? In the four months since I unintentionally left my internet footprint alone, I’ve learned quite a few things about what it means to be me, some wonderful, some uncomfortable, but regardless of the nature of the whats, whos, and whys I discovered on this mini adventure, I have not escaped unchanged. I am now more sure about who I am than I have ever been before, and I know exactly where I want to be. Between new friends, learning to live on my own, and an existential crisis (the ghosts of which still haunt me), I think I can honestly say I’m okay with where I’m at. It’s the “get up, get going” part that scares me.

It’s easy to have goals. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Paediatric Cardiologist (say that five times fast, Mum); the idea of it gave me such a thrill that I could barely contain myself if someone ever made the mistake of bringing it up. I told anyone who would listen that I was going to get there someday. 

Someday. What a funny word. Based on my experiences, it can have one or two meanings depending on the context that it is used. In the first instance, it appears with a positive connotation; it is chalk full of childlike optimism, and hints toward a successful outcome. The second situation comes with a similar tinge of yes, but often results in the disappointment of those silly enough to wait for it to happen– for example’s sake, it’s used most frequently by one too scared to say no.

ex: “Daddy? Dad? Can I have a pony? It’ll make me the happiest girl in the world                        andifyoudontillscreamuntilyoucaveandbringonehome.”

“I’m not so sure about right now, babydoll, but someday, for sure.”

Nice save, Dad. In the short term, that someday” might soothe some inner desire, but, in the case of the pony example, unless Pa decides to save up, buy a bigger house, build a barn and actually make the effort to look for and purchase a horse good enough for his little princess, then babydoll can hope for the pony ’til she’s blue in the face, but she’ll never get it.

As you can probably tell from all previous posts, the Cardiologist dream was lost amidst the waters of the second someday example, and I’m completely okay with that. For one, I’m not a fan of blood, or Chemistry, and as I found out rather quickly, I lack the emotional blockades to deal with sick children calmly in dire situations. And, of course, I realized that I’d rather swallow a live jellyfish every day for the rest of my life than support myself with something that doesn’t involve writing creatively.

And here we have the problem that I’ve been trying to combat since I left for school in August. With classes and committees and scholarship work and volunteer hours and exams, my dream is in danger of being trapped in the dangerous web of the second someday. Of course, with dreams like this, it’s all a matter of knowing what you want, and believe me, I know what I want.  But I figured out pretty quick that I can talk about it, dream about it, and dabble with it all I want, but just thinking about it all the time isn’t going to get me any closer to doing anything about it. I’d be lying if I said I’ve picked up a pen to write anything creative since I’ve last been home, and I’d be two seconds away from burnt legs if I said it didn’t bother me.

I don’t need inspiration; that stuff is everywhere. I don’t need drive; I’ve got lots of that, too. I’ve just been pushing to move forward in the wrong areas. Maybe it’s time to stop striving for classroom praise and scholarship winnings; maybe it’s time to do what makes me happy. And so I’ve promised myself that I shall. Hell, I’ve even moved a step further than that, and started doing it. The next challenge is keeping it up, but that’s a story for another time. I’ll tell you when I get there.

If you’re reading this, and you’ve found yourself in the same boat that I’ve just docked and climbed out of, whatever your dream is, don’t let it disappear into the vault of lost somedays. Work for it, grab onto it, and get going. Make someday today; it’s possible, and with a little elbow grease, it’s probable. You’ve just got to move.

So get going.

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” — Stephen King.