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building a house around it.

January 20, 2011

i don’t like to cry in front of people. from a writing student (a creative and dramatic pursuit, it seems) and from a person who sobs in movies, this may be surprising to some. i suppose nobody really does want to cry, but there must be people out there who cry for attention’s sake. i can’t say that i do that. i cry when i watch movies (every movie. i have literally cried in every movie. even the happy ones. harry potter one. cheaper by the dozen. etc.) but other than that i don’t like to show any kind of weakness in front of others. (this is a flaw, i realise that.)

in the past month i’ve had a pretty huge crisis of faith, which i alluded to in my post regarding the ego. i still haven’t looked at my thesis since i submitted it on december… 7th, maybe. i don’t remember what date it was. i don’t really care. because i’ve cried my fucking eyes out. it’s been a combination of things, things that happened over the break that made me feel pretty unsteady, things that people have said that have made me freak out.

my ghosts have left me. i don’t sense them anymore and it’s scaring the shit out of me. they’ve vacated the premises. they’re not muses anymore. and i’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time alone, or at least separated from the majority of the writing program. i go to yoga, i go to the grocery store, and i come home. i don’t sleep, and when i do i have bad dreams. i feel shattered, tense, angry, and unbalanced. i act poorly around people because i am so dissatisfied with my personal life right now.

i suppose to the outsider i would appear fairly insane at the moment. i write notes about my thesis on bright orange post it notes and stick them around my apartment. i carry a small red notebook with me and scribble what probably looks like gibberish in it when i have a thought. my bookmarks on my computer are all about the etymology of religious words and the hierarchies of angels and devils. i don’t like to wash my hair. and i like stretchy pants. so what? if there is any point in my life when i look crazy, this must be it.

i’m separating myself because i don’t want to break down in front of my friends in the program. i don’t people to see what i really am right now: alone, fraught, completely insecure, so very scared about the way i write and the state of my thesis – that thing that i worked so hard on that fell so short. i don’t want to cry in front of people. there are so few people that have seen me cry and i’m going to keep it that way, because sometimes crying is great and cathartic – but right now what i need is mettle and blood-borne grit.

but as i stated before:

sometimes maybe the best thing is to be so very, very lost and sad that all ego goes away, and a new ego is able to be built – built up around the excavated self that exists. my mother asked me on the phone – “do you think this is what you were meant to do?” and the answer was an unequivocal “yes” – it came out of my mouth before i could think. that has to mean something. writing was always something that i was good at, ever since i discovered the space bar on our old mac computer.

so  — enough. i can’t let myself be dragged down like this. im not going down like this, being held down by each limb, drowned – open-mouthed and clutching at my throat – by snarky critics and rude smart-mouths and people who think that my writing is a passing phase, an artsy fad. i refuse to let my unique voice – that old chestnut – be extinguished, because i do good things with language – things that don’t appeal to everyone, but things that will appeal greatly to some people. and i am prepared for that. i am not writing for everybody in the world. i could not do that. i will not do that.

i’m opening my palms and willing the ghosts to come back to me and tilting my head back to expose my throat to everybody and then i’m gonna fuckn write.

and look this ecstatic ALL THE TIME.

this post is to do a few things. it is to explain to my gorgeous fellow classmates why i have been so odd lately. it is to explain my absence, my snarling moods, my unsteadiness. it is to apologise for anyone who i might have offended recently. it is to start to bring the good juju to me. it is to reassure anybody else who is reading this who might have the same mindset. and most of all it is to reassure myself. i’m journaling this so i can look back on it and remember just why the fuck i want to be in this program.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 12:06 am

    fuck yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!

    love it, anna. and ill take you any way (snarky, angry, sad…)

  2. Devon permalink
    January 21, 2011 8:29 am

    You’re amazing, Anna. Keep kicking ass. Let me know if you need another drunken talk in a stairwell next time you’re in Toronto.

  3. January 21, 2011 9:53 am

    Love you, sweet pea.

    And hang in there. Toss the snarky remarks that don’t resonate with you. Treat yourself nice. Do what you need to do.

    And then come over to my house and watch movies.

  4. January 21, 2011 12:41 pm

    I love you darling! Writing is a key part of who you are, and you are very, very good at it. Spring is right around the corner, and spring always brings change.

    I will see you in exactly one month today! ❤

  5. Marek permalink
    January 24, 2011 8:15 pm

    We often forget that we as humans are layered creations. As any object that has layers it is hard to see each level even though they create a whole single being. When cause and affect take place new layers are shown on the same person but others see this as change from the original. Each layer, each persona is beauty of the same Anna.

  6. January 27, 2011 5:43 pm

    Darling. Thanks for this one. I’m in a similar place these days (so thanks for the reassurance). It always comes back to the unequivocal “yes.”

    It makes sense that you’re going through this right now. You’ve taken the first step toward sending your thesis out into the world, and it’s like letting a child go — a creation you bore and delivered into a realm outside of yourself. The ghosts are still with you, but without, instead of within.

    I’m here for you through the process (which is lifelong, really)!

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