Writer’s Block

I love the feeling of finally being over writer’s block. Writer’s block, as a creative person, leaves me feeling so crummy all the time. It’s repeatedly opening Word documents and closing them only to open another one. It’s wanting to say something but having nothing to say. I can write, but it’ll never be something substantial. It always ends up being something boring, something basic, something I’ve said before. But when I finally am out of it, it’s a clarity like no other. It’s like I was drowning and now I’ve learned to swim.

It’s a blessing and a curse, to be a creative person. It’s a blessing when I’m creating, I feel best when I’m creating, but when I’m doing anything else, it feels like wasted time. I know it’s not, and I’ll just get burnt out if I’m always creating, but I can’t always shake the feeling. It’s good to take a day off or take breaks. I tell myself this. But I’m also the person who will stop everything to write down an idea. I’ve pulled over while driving because I thought of an idea for a story. I feel like my brain is just always thinking about what to write next. As if it’s wired to create.

That’s what’s been on my mind today. I didn’t have any poems to post, so I figured I’d give you guys a look into what’s been going on in my head lately.

Also, I’ve been thinking of maybe writing a poetry book. I have a backlog of poems that admittedly need some work, but those plus some I’ve posted here, I think it’d be cool.

Changing My Major

So, I changed my major again. But this time, it’s what I’m genuinely interested in: Fiction Writing! My classes start in January and I’m excited. When I was going to the community college, I had my major as writing at first because that was the closest they had to creative writing (aka my one true love), but I changed it to a general major when I started taking classes that didn’t qualify under the writing major. But I’m excited to be back to writing!

My first few classes are just basic classes I never took at community college, so I won’t start any writing classes for a couple months, but nonetheless! It is a venture I’m excited to be making, and I finally feel confident in my major choice. It’s taken me way too long to figure out what I want to major in. I mean, I’m 22, I should’ve already graduated! But everyone goes at their own pace, so I’m not upset.


Snowfall When I’ve Got No Plans

Snow has been falling for almost an hour now. I awoke to see a dusting, but now it’s nearly up to my knees. I’ve got nowhere to be, though, and I’m watching comfortably from the warmth of my blanket and a cup of tea. Music plays softly from my speaker; I serenely watch the snow fall. Hours pass and the snow settles at waist level. Sighing, I appreciate this week off from work I’ve taken.

Hope (winter)

The brisk wintry air filled her with hope, something she hadn’t felt in a while. The trail was long, but she felt a warm comfort from her companion sharing stories. She didn’t say much, just listened and watched the trail in front of them. The greens and browns calmed her completely, and the smell of trees and the trickling of the stream nearby soothed her aching soul. She needed this hike. She felt her worries drift away as they climbed the mountain trail. Before long they reached the top. A cool wind blew through them as they admired the scenery. Treetops still shimmering from the rainfall overnight, the curved dirt path they followed now looking back at them. They made it to the top and what was that? Was that snowfall? She didn’t realize how cold it was, but now it’s snowing. She chuckled softly. The snow fell around them, soon covering the treetops and the rocks and path. They couldn’t move, mesmerized by the beauty of it all. Tomorrow they had to pack up and go back to the real world, but for now, they remained in the most beautiful place they could ever imagine.

“Let’s stay here forever.” She said.

“Okay.” He said.

On Growing Up (and how I don’t want to)

No one prepared me for growing up. It sounded liberating, fun, exciting. To move out, get a good paying job, having the freedom to do whatever I want. I loved the sound of that. But I’m tired all the time and I have no motivation to do anything more than the bare minimum. It’s boring, I tried to frame errands in a fun way that made them sound like I’m on some big adventure but it’s just going to the store and buying milk because I’m somehow always out of milk when I want a late-night bowl of cereal. Or it’s going to pick up a prescription but it’s not ready yet- should I wait for it? Or should I make use of these 15 minutes and go do something else I had to do today. And this was supposed to be my day off? My one day off this week? And I’m stuck at the store for 15 minutes because my prescription wasn’t ready yet. If this is what adulthood is then I want no part in it.

But that’s not all there is. There are concerts I don’t have to ask permission to go to, there are vacations I can take without my parents arguing every time we get in the car. There’s still fun to be had, it just feels less fun because I actually need the time off to recuperate from the long work week I just had. Being an adult is exhausting, and I’m not ready to grow up, but maybe I’m looking at it wrong. Maybe it’s more than just going to work and running errands. Because there’s also buying myself that new video game I’ve been wanting since I first heard about it, there’s playing it until 2 am and regretting it in the morning, but I’m still on that high you get when you first play a game that I don’t even realize I’m tired. I’m just counting down the minutes until I can play again.

Or, more personally, there’s staying up all night writing a new story I thought of during work and quickly wrote down on receipt paper so I would remember it when I got home. There’s the six hours straight of writing and editing and planning and more writing and more editing and it’s somehow all fun because I finally, after months of writer’s block, have something to write about again. I thought I had lost the ability to write, every time I tried to it came out as utter nonsense. As if I had written it on no sleep and too much caffeine (which was sometimes the case, but that’s beside the point). When I wrote this new story, it was like I was 12 again and just realizing my love for writing. The possibilities are endless and thank god I can type fast because the words come so fast, you’d think I’m on a deadline. But I’m only just beginning.

Summer of running away

Echoes of gas stations,

shitty coffee,

sunken eyes and unkempt hair

swarm my mind

as I drive down a desolate road

in the dead of winter.

My coffee, hot as all hell,

stains my shirt and burns my throat.

I was homesick

for an imaginary place.

I had been searching for my home

but nothing stuck,

nothing but loneliness, empty roads

and the taste of burnt coffee grounds-

maybe that’s my home now.

At least they can’t break my heart.

Album Recommendations: Act 1 – Morbid Stuff / PUP

Just before writing Shan’s story, I listened to Morbid Stuff, an album by PUP on my record player. I listened to it all the way through and it struck a chord deep inside me. I related to it on a personal level to the point I knew I had to write something about it. When the album ended, I turned the record over and listened again, typing urgently. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a nihilist, but I have my moments. And this album brought those moments out.

I recommend listening in full, but my favorite track off it is the second track Kids.

Birthday Ramblings

Today’s my birthday. I’m 22 today. I’d like to take this time to reflect on all the things 21 taught me.

In no way do I consider myself a fully-functioning adult, but I’m a hell of a lot more mature than I was last year. This year has been a year for self-reflecting and personal, internal growth.

I’ve learned to speak up for myself. Though I’m still not perfect at it, I’ve managed to avoid a lot of distress and suffering by noticing when something isn’t right, and fixing it.

I’ve gotten better at managing stress, anxiety, and depression. Of course, I still fall into my old self-destructive habits sometimes, but they’re a lot shorter now, and I can bring myself back to reality sooner than before.

I can notice what I need to work on within myself and actually begin to work on it. In the past, if I know there’s something I need to work on, I’d get stressed out and fall into a spiral at the thought of having to actually try– you mean I’m not perfect?! Nowadays, I don’t worry about that kind of thing. Knowing there’s something I need to work on just means I’m one step closer to bettering myself.

Today, I just want to take it easy. No schoolwork, no work-work. I’m going out to breakfast with my family then spending the day with my boyfriend. It’ll be a simple day to relax after a long year. A good year, but a long one.

Monument Pier (Part 2)

Missed part one? Check it out here!

Cold. A bitter, gruesome cold spread throughout Jakey’s body. He couldn’t feel his fingertips, but he was less concerned about that than where he was. He opened his eyes to find himself laying on his side on a damp and uncomfortable bed. He could just barely see a bedside table next to him, illuminated by a single dim and flickering lamp. The lamp looked to be something from an old movie. His mind jumped straight to pirates. 

Where am I?Jakey thought to himself. The last thing he could remember was jumping into Boston Harbor after that terrible fight with his parents. Was he dead? Was this what the afterlife was? Why did he feel like he was rocking back and forth? Jakey thought he would be sick. 

His eyes slightly adjusted to the darkness and noticed a window behind the table. He could barely make out a light far in the distance. Then the light was gone. It reminded him of a lighthouse, but he couldn’t think straight enough yet to wrap his head around that.

It’s freezing.Jakey thought to himself, sitting up in bed and placing his feet on the ground. Where are my shoes?His feet felt a cool breeze as he noticed he was no longer wearing his shoes and his socks were damp just like the rest of him. It was a terrible feeling, he couldn’t stand it any longer. Without thinking, he took his socks off and felt a sudden relief. 

I’m not dead, but I wish I was. This is awful. Where the hell am I?Jakey attempted to stand, lost his balance, and fell back down onto the bed. Why can’t I stand up? Is the world rocking back and forth? Or am I losing it?He squinted and looked around. At the bottom of the bed was another light and one on the opposite side of the bed, too. He was in a small room with two doors on each side of the bed respectively. Everything was wooden. 

Jakey felt delirious. He couldn’t wrap his head around what was happening until he heard a loud crash, a sound he was all too familiar with after spending years at the pier. He was on a ship. He understood that now. How he got here was unclear, but he was here now. He didn’t feel threatened, as if he was kidnapped. Hell, even if he was some prisoner on a pirate’s ship it’d be better than his old living situation. At least then he’d have something to live for. 

His mind was finally coming to. Jakey had never been on a ship before besides the time he toured his father’s boat many years ago. He knew boats rocked back and forth, but he never knew the feeling until now. Seasickness was something his father always said was for the weakhearted, but he could feel something rising in his stomach. Oh, no, he was going to be sick right now. He couldn’t see well enough to find something to throw up in, but he stood up and searched anyway. As he stood up, much too fast might he add, he uncontrollably bent over and let it all out. 

Groaning, Jakey laid back down on the bed, legs dangling off the edge and hands rubbing his temples. Voices came from behind the door behind him followed by footsteps and the creaking of an old door handle turning. Without sitting up, he watched a light illuminate from the other room. A figure appeared carrying a lamp identical to the ones in his room, but much brighter. 

“Well, I’ll be. You’re awake!” Said a deep voice in an accent he couldn’t quite place.

“You alright, boy?” A second voice said. Two figures now stood at his bedside, upside down from his perspective. 

“Mnm, got sick.” Jakey croaked. 

“Where didja get sick, now, kid?” The second voice said. The two piled in and Jakey sat up.

“Over here, sorry, I couldn’t find a place to go. It happened so suddenly. Never been on a boat.” Jakey mumbled, gesturing to the mess on the floor next to him.

“Well, that’s alright, nothing a mop can’t clean, right?” The first voice said as they inspected Jakey’s mess. 

“What’s your name now? And what were ya doin’ out at sea? We thought you were a dead man. Scared us, didn’t it?” The second voice asked, taking a mop and bucket out of the cabinet at the end of the room and began cleaning.

“Jakey. I don’t know, was trying to end it, honestly.” Jakey admitted sheepishly.

“Well, that’s not the way to go, now is it? How old are ya? 16? That’s a bit too young to be wanting to end it all, wouldn’t you say?” The second voice said.

“I’d do anything to get away from my parents.” Jakey said solemnly. 

“Is that right? They’re abusive? Guess we can’t bring you back ashore then, can we?” The first voice said, nudging Jakey. Jakey chuckled.

“Sorry for rescuing me. I really don’t want to overstay my welcome. You can bring me back to shore, I don’t care where. I’ll get out of your hair.” Jakey mumbled.

“Nonsense. Jakey. We were just talking about how we need a new shipmate, weren’t we, Artie?” The second voice said, peering up at Jakey and Artie as he finished cleaning.

“Aye. We’ve got a crew, but we could use another person.” Artie said, “Tell me, Jakey, what do ya know about the ports ‘round Boston?”

“I know a little.” Jakey lied. He knew Boston Harbor better than he knew himself. He’d spent hours a day as a kid memorizing the paths of ships and tides from his father’s charts. He would draw them on spare pieces of paper from memory in class when he’d get bored. The margins of his math homework were riddled with maps and boat designs. He could tell you where the captain’s quarters were in every boat that belonged to the harbor. 

“Don’t be modest, kid, we want to give you a safe place to live. All we ask is you help us take back what’s ours.” Artie said.

hey, maybe that’s too harsh.

I catch myself before it’s too late. It’s probably a talent. I catch myself thinking, “stupid, stupid, stupid” because I forgot to do that one thing I said I would do. Mid self deprecating thought I stop and go, “hey, maybe that’s too harsh.”

I find myself doing this all too often, and it usually is a sign that I’m falling into a pit of depression yet again. If I catch myself soon enough, I can manage to escape that deep, dark pit of emotional turmoil that is a depressive episode and continue on as a normal human. Sometimes, more often than I’d like to admit, I don’t realize it until I’m a month deep, surrounded by isolation and self-destructive tendencies.

I find myself laying on my floor at 1 am, lights off, listening to a playlist of mopey songs singing about how terrible everything in their lives are. It’s usually in a moment like this that I come to the realization of, “oh, right. I’m depressed again.”

I’ve been down so many times, I know how to deal with it. When you’ve been depressed for nearly a decade, coming out of a depressive episode becomes a regular practice. Everyone’s brain works differently, but for me that’s usually taking a day or two for myself. I’ll do whatever it is I want to do that day and not feel guilty for it. Because once you’re that deep in it, you should not feel guilty for taking a day to just watch your favorite feel-good show on Netflix or sit outside with a cup of tea and watch the wind blow through the trees.

Coming out of it isn’t always a pretty sight, either. It takes time, just like it took time to fall into it. I’ll catch myself along the way isolating or overreacting and I just take a step back and rewire my brain into Positivity Mode again.