When I first started writing this I wanted to see how long I can keep at something everyday before it became bothersome. I was around two weeks in when I stopped writing. I think that was when I printed it out and looked over it and saw the reality of my progress.
It wasn’t very good. At all.
I wrote sparsely here once in a while trying to motivate myself to write again and continue on but the nagging voice in the back of my mind was “What’s the point?”
That voice was loud and it told me “You’ll never become a writer.” “You’ll never get fit.” “You’ll never amount to anything.”
That voice spoke without words, but more a feeling. I became depressed and I exercised less. I told myself I needed a break. Work became a hassle again.
Everything felt ‘What’s the point?”
I don’t have any friends to rely on and frankly it was my own fault. When invited to things, I’ve often said no or not reply at all. People move on in their lives. Somehow I didn’t realize how lonely I actually was.
What was the point of even trying when I’ll just fail at the end.
I started eating junk food again. Something I had stopped for 3 months. I started because it was easy. It felt good to just sit there and watch TV with a bag of chips and soda. Just sit there when I had time off. I wasn’t happy with work and everything felt like a bother when I am at home.
I suppose I should be thankful that I at least have a job. It felt like I was pretending to be someone I was not when I was trying to write and draw and work out. It wasn’t who I am. If I look closely in the mirror who I really am, then I am that person sitting on the couch watching TV eating junk food. Or sitting at the computer reading websites on trivial things that doesn’t really mean anything. I would criticize other people’s hard work and compare it to someone else’s hard work knowing full well that I cannot do anything even close to the worse of the writing, drawing I have seen posted on the internet.
I had become depressed.
I started following this anime called “Persona 4” and while I was depressed I just watched it. Watching the main character Yu transfer to a new school and make friends. I kind of wished I had friends too. Some people I can rely on. But the silence is deafening so I fill that silence with noise. Reading and listening to just noise to drown out the silence of me being alone.
How did I become this way? Have I always been like this? I wondered. I know I had tried many times to try to break out of this depression and when I sometimes feel that I had broken free it would bring me back down.
I know how to get out of it.
I just need to say yes. But then I would regret it. I would say to myself “What a bother.” I just wanted to be alone. And here I am. More alone than I ever wanted to be, but here I am sitting alone.
I am not happy. The more I sit here doing nothing, the more unhappy I will become. What I need to do is stand up and go out and do something. Anything. It doesn’t matter what. I need to get up and do something.
The feeling always return “What’s the point?” “Why even try?” “It’s just a pain.” That voice would point a finger at me and ask, “What are you even passionate about? You don’t have any. You just want to be noticed. You want to write something so that you will be noticed. You wanted to draw well so someone would say, ‘That looks really good. Who is he?’ You just wanted all that stuff. But you can’t ever achieve any of that because you’re not passionate about it. You are just a lonely person who can’t do anything.”
What am I passionate about?
I don’t know. I thought I wanted to tell stories, but I can never complete them. I would get stuck. I can never get unstuck so I would give up and start over and write something until I become stuck again. I can’t get past failure. I’m not smart enough. I’m not talented enough. I haven’t worked hard enough. There are other people out there who knows more. Who are more talented than me. I can’t even get past myself. How can I compete with that big scary world out there? I should just blend in. Just fade in the background.
Then how would you like to be remembered?
I know if I continue like this, I won’t be remembered. My family and people I know would say, “That’s too bad. How do you remember him? He’s pretty quiet. He keeps to himself a lot. I think he likes reading a lot.”
I haven’t done much in life have I?
So what is the point. I’m in my 30s and I haven’t done anything. My life is a failure.
That voice constantly telling me. Just lie down, don’t worry about any of that. Just relax and eat. You have it rough. It’s not easy not having friends. It’s too hard needing to write. You work an 8 hour job right? Come on you don’t have any time to relax. You don’t have to do any of this. It’s ok. Most people are like you. You don’t need to stand out. 1/3 of people are obese anyway. So it’s alright. You don’t have to do anything about it. Then when you’re gone. Well you don’t have to feel loneliness anymore. It’s alright. Don’t worry about it.
You’re better off than a lot of other people. You don’t do drugs and you’re not in debt. You have family even though you don’t see them very often. You don’t have to worry. You don’t need to write. You don’t need to draw. You don’t need to get in shape. You just need to feel better.
I wrote something down on my whiteboard a while ago. Couple of months ago when I first started working out.
“I don’t want to feel better. I want to be better.”
Hey buddy. I know you’re not thinking right, right now. And it’s alright we all have those days or weeks. We get in a funk. It happens to everyone. You know that. And it’s all right. I know your feelings were hurt when you read what you wrote but you know it’s part of the process. Nobody get good right away. Everyone has to start somewhere and you only put 10 days in at only half an hour a day. Is that really all you’ve got? Come on, let’s be honest here and shut the shadow out for a second. You’re not good at writing today. That’s alright. But to think you’ll never get better, that’s silly. Even when you fail, you’re gaining something. You learn something new and that’s going to stay with you. Remember when you started drawing? You drew every day and in your second week, there was a jump in quality. It got better. When you draw again, you’ll still be better. Remember when you couldn’t draw hands? Now you could. I know you could, because you’re me. You’re no longer afraid of drawing hands because you’ve done it before. You just need more practice that’s all. Remember how you felt when you finished drawing? Remember that feeling of accomplishment? Then you looked forward to what else you can bring alive tomorrow? I know you’ve forgotten when that shadow started talking to you; filling your mind with doubt. It’s alright. I am your persona after all. It’s alright that you feel afraid. It happens to everyone. But I’m here to remind you some of the things you have forgotten.
Do you remember when you were writing and you wrote the dialogue about Elealla? How you laughed out loud when you were writing her. You had fun writing those dialogue. You thought it was funny when you made her deadpan her lines while she used the zapper on the guy. Remember that? Remember how excited you were when you were trying to bring Lyth to life? Remember when he tried to figure out how to deal with the refugees? Sure he’s rough around the edges and you will have to polish him a lot but you have something. He’s on paper and you have given life to something that would not have existed at all. You have these characters in your mind who are waiting to exist. Why are you really writing? Come on. You know it.
I want to make something that didn’t exist before. I want to share these characters to the world.
That’s right partner. You wanted to bring something new into the world. That’s why you really wanted to write and draw. That’s nothing wrong with that dream. It’s a hard dream to achieve in reality but it is achievable. Characters are written everyday. Stories are told everyday in every language known to man. Why can’t you? You’ll have to work for it though. You’ll have to work hard for it. But just little by little. Just a little bit every single day. You know what you need to do. You just have to do it.
Buddy, I’m going to let you in on a secret that you already know. People are attracted to passion. It doesn’t matter what it is. People can tell when someone is really truly passionate about something. Good or bad, people are attracted to it. You want to not be so lonely anymore? Be passionate regardless of what you are doing. Be passionate about it. Working out, drawing, writing, anything. Just give it your all and don’t see it as another chore. You’re alive right? So just give it your all. You won’t even feel tired because you’re passionate about it right? Go on and test yourself. Push yourself through the obstacles that hinders you. Go at it with everything you’ve got and if you fail. That’s alright. It’s alright to fail because like Neil Gaiman said, that’s means you’re doing something new. And you will get better at it.
You only stop getting better at something when you stop trying.
So try and fail and try again. You’ll get it eventually. And enough with the pity party about your age. Remember what Mark Twain said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” You know this quote because I am you. You already have the answers to get through this. You just need to start again and I’ll be right there with you when you’re trying.
So let’s try again.