This post is something I’ve been working away at and wasn’t actually sure I was going to post until I read this post and this post by Susannah Conway. I’m among the countless people who have been inspired by Susannah. Her honesty, her bravery, her ability to be vulnerable and truthful and accessible, have made me look deeper into my own heart and mind, explore my own vulnerabilities, and try to open up and share more. And although I can do that – and have finally started to do that – in a journal, it’s not quite the same as laying it all out there for the world to see and hopefully have people understand and relate, and to come to that amazing realization that you’re not alone. Whether you’re happy or miserable or indifferent to the world, blogging has created this incredible global community of like-minded people who are exploring their own selves and talking about their journeys.
I've been dealing with some weird, uncomfortable feelings lately. Unhappiness and uncertainty...I wouldn't go so far as to say depression, because I've experienced actual depression and this isn't as bad. It's just...a lot of swirling, negative thoughts that I don't like and don't want.
Sometimes it’s really hard to read people’s blogs, or Facebook and Twitter feeds, and hear about their happy, shiny lives, because my life is so…well, not happy and shiny. My life isn’t what I thought it would be at this point, and seeing/hearing about people taking adventures I want to take, hanging out with friends when I hardly see my friends, going places I long to travel…weddings, babies, buying houses, going to parties, having happy, quiet moments with their loved ones...all of it is hard to swallow at times. I don't begrudge these people their happiness, and I'm happy for them, but it doesn't stop me from feeling envious or occasionally feeling sorry for myself because I don't have any of that, and I want it SO BAD.
Being a writer is a lonely life. I live inside my own head so much, and even though I enjoy my alone time, I also wish I had friends around. I’m insanely lucky to share an apartment with my mum, who’s also my best friend, but there’s a double generation gap between us (she was in her 40s when she had me) and as much as I adore spending time with her, sometimes I just want a girlfriend my own age who I can go out with. I want to go dancing and go shopping and go on road trips and be silly and take a million pictures and stop worrying about all the things I need to do.
I know I’m incredibly blessed. I have a family I love, two precious nephews and a niece on the way, I have traveled even though I desperately want to do and see so much more. My lifelong dream was to be a published author, and I’m about to publish my third book. I know how lucky I am to be living my dream - not many people can say that. I love my job, I love what I do, I love getting to create worlds and people and situations, and I love that I get to entertain people, and hopefully touch them. I wouldn’t trade that for the world, but…I want more. And I don’t think it’s selfish or greedy to want more. I’m getting the career aspect of my life under control, now I want the personal aspect. I want friends and a man in my life. I want to feel that crazy, passionate, all-consuming love, and I want to be the centre of someone's universe. I don’t want to be lonely anymore. I’m tired of that almost desperate feeling I get where I just want someone to do something with. I want to leave these four walls and see what’s out there in the rest of the world, and really live.
One of my best online friends and I have talked about the fact that we wasted a lot of our 20s. I know your 20s are a time of self-discovery and figuring things out, but it took me a really long time to figure stuff out, and I don’t really feel like I have a whole lot to show for my 20s. Mind you, it’s not like it was 10-20+ years ago, where life seemed to end at 30, and if you were alone you were clearly a spinster for life and you had to settle down in your spinsterhood and be a boring old dud. Now it seems like life begins for a lot of people at 30, or even 40 and beyond for many people. That thought gives me hope.
For the last year and a half, I feel like I’ve done nothing but work. I’ve taken a few days off here and there, but it’s mostly been work. It’s me sitting right here day after day, same routine, same view, same panicky feeling of trying to get everything done but only ever adding to my to-do list instead of diminishing it. I feel like there’s so much to do that I can’t stop. But it’s completely neurotic because among the stuff I feel I have to do is really just stuff I tell myself needs to be done. I have three blogs - now, who in their right mind has three blogs, I ask you? It’s insanity! But they’re for different purposes - I have a book blog, in which I review books, have bookish discussions, and host authors; an author blog because I’m an author and I feel like people might be interested in that process and my books; and this little blog that isn’t reading-and-writing-related, but is just about my so-called life. I also try to keep up with social media, make friends and connections online, visit other blogs (book blogs, writing blogs, and personal blogs), design graphics for my books and websites, and then there’s the procrastination like Pinterest, YouTube, etc. And then of course, there’s my actual job, which is writing books, articles, and stories, editing them, revising them, marketing them. It’s a never-ending job.
However…with all the being said…I feel like a bit of a broken record here, because I’ve mentioned this several times in the last few weeks, but I really do believe that 2013 is going to be my year. When I push aside the negativity and other bad stuff, I feel hopeful in a way I haven’t felt in a really long time. I’m ready for change, and I’m going to embrace it. I’m going to open myself up to good things - new people, new places, new adventures. I’m going to try to take a step back and not put so much pressure on myself when it comes to work. I’m going to live more in the real world and not so much online or in my own head.
I can’t wait to be able to share fun posts and not just depressing ones (like this one). I want to be one of those people with a happy, shiny life. As I said before, I don’t begrudge them their happiness, it’s just hard sometimes when I barely remember what it’s even like to be happy. But it’s going to happen…I believe that…I have to believe that, for my own sanity.