I will turn 25 in less than a month. I feel like I should have accomplished so much more by now.
I’ve been stuck on the bigger questions lately, so yesterday I decided to give myself a break and refuse to think about anything anxious or scary. I did not open the envelope from the student loan company that came in the mail. I shoved every quarter life crisis question out of my mind, forcefully. It came back to bite me this morning when I woke up terrified of everything and suffocating in a smog of anxiety. I was afraid of living, of dying, of everything in between. I can only keep the demons at bay for so long, and apparently for me that means one day of very effortful & fake peace. I took the 3mg of Klonopin – no relief. I took a shower and drank some tea – no relief. What does help is writing, truth-telling, being raw and being vulnerable. That is my safe space where I can build myself a raft of twig honesty and hope twine.
Here are the questions that have been haunting me:
– What do I want to do with this “one wild and precious life” (Mary Oliver) I have been given? I feel directionless. I want to be an artist. I don’t know what I want. I know only what I don’t want. This seems to really frustrate everyone around me.
– What if I never feel like a real artist? What does it even mean to be a “real” artist? What if nobody ever cares about what I make? What if I get burnt out and stop creating altogether and end up with the sort of boring, same thing every week life I’m terrified of having? What if I turn into my parents?
– I ordered business cards last night with my name, contact information and the title “ARTIST” on them, but this does not make me a real artist.
(photograph by me, originally written in September 2016)