Every time I don’t post on this blog for a while I find myself apologizing for it. I get on streaks of inspiration where I post a bunch of things for a while and then I give up, I run out of ideas or content that I consider “good enough.” I think my logic is that if I don’t post anything, then at least I can’t get mad at myself for it not being as perfect as I expect it to be.
My desire for perfection has always been one of my biggest motivators and also one of my biggest setbacks in my life. Anxiety has a lot to do with it; I feel the need to perfect many aspects of my life so that I don’t feel like everything is spiraling out of control away from me. I can’t function if my room isn’t clean, I can’t leave the house if my outfit isn’t exactly how I envisioned it, I can’t hand in a project if it’s not what I consider my best work.
Today in my Writing and Rhetoric class I got my first paper back for a grade. At the bottom, my professor wrote “You have a beautiful prose style… very reader friendly… I’d wager you end up in a writing intensive profession. Some of this reads like professional, magazine worthy, writing.” I started to tear up right there in class. I’ll admit when I handed it in, I thought I would do pretty well on the paper. I’d spent many hours editing little details, going into his office hours to ask him questions about it, making sure everything was perfect as I thought I could make it.
But the thing is, what I forgot until I got his comments back is that I actually do know how to write, and that I like to write. I’d been so caught up in the little details and trying to tweak the paper for a good grade that I forgot about something I couldn’t change even if I tried, my voice. And to hear that my professor admired my writing for my voice and my style meant so much to me. I don’t think he ever could have known that my ultimate dream goal is to write for a magazine, but he thought to comment that that was where I belong anyways. In the end, I can’t “perfect” being truly passionate about something, I can’t fake my voice, and not everything is about getting a good grade. The fact that my professor recognized from just my style of writing where I belong in this world made me realize so much about my life lately and made me want to start writing this blog post.
It’s easy for me to get caught up in what everyone else wants. In school, it’s what my professor wants so that I can get a good grade. With my blog, I worry about what all of you want to see too. I get worried that no one’s going to read what I write or care about what I have to say, so I put pretty photos because everyone responds well to that. I love photography and it’s an art form I’ve been learning about and becoming more interested in, but not everything I care about is having a nice Instagram feed. In the end, I love aesthetically pleasing things and fashion but what I truly love to do is write. Maybe this is why I never post on my blog, because even though a blog is supposed to be a platform for writing, it’s turned into a social media all in itself. All because of this, I feel bad about actually putting words onto my blog because I don’t want to annoy people with them. Isn’t that a little fucked up? All because I’m worried about what other people think of me, I’ve forgotten about my voice.
I obviously love social media and I love posting photos on Instagram, but it distracts everyone (including myself) from a lot of meaningful things in life. Posting on social media rewards us with immediate satisfaction, people like it and the likes pop up on our screen and they’re quantified by numbers, hundreds of likes that are supposed to determine the “worth” of this picture. But what’s it worth if we don’t really care about it? Even if no one reads what I write, I care more that I write something beautiful or meaningful than I care about those half-assed photos thrown up on my blog or Instagram because that’s what everyone else wants to see (mind you, some of my photos are not half-assed, they take a lot of creative effort, but certainly some of them are and a lot of things that other people post just for “likes” are).
In the same vein, I’ve truly been feeling down lately. Nothing has felt like it’s been going right in my life. It goes back to that feeling of anxiety; all of this bullshit has been happening around me that is out of my control and I let it get to me because I can’t do anything about it. I get so lost in this shit, this drama and negativity, but in perspective it’s all absolutely meaningless. Like a half-assed social media post, maybe everyone else cares about it or at least they act like they care about it, but I need to remind myself that it’s okay that I don’t. It’s when I let myself get caught up in these things that I feel the worst, because it means I’ve lost track of what’s important to me, and I forget all about my voice.
I know sometimes I see things differently than other people do. Colors speak to me in ways I sometimes can’t describe. Today I decided to take a minute to myself in the midst of this whole funk I’ve been in and I went out with one of my best friends to get breakfast. It was a strangely beautiful 80 degree October day, and when I looked around I saw all the colors around me in my life matching up with each other. I saw everything in a blue and yellow tint, my favorite colors together, everywhere I looked. I thought to myself, Wow everything looks pretty today maybe that’s a sign that everything is going to be better for me. I realize now that maybe everything seemed to match because I was finally, finally taking a second to remember what’s actually important to me. My entire perspective on life was so fucked because I had lost my own voice, been out of my own frame of mind, until I sorted things out and finally all the colors I saw were in harmony with each other.
I left my class after getting my paper back from my professor and started my walk back to my house. There’s a walkway I take lined with trees. At the moment, they’re all the most beautiful tint of yellow I’ve ever seen, juxtaposed next to the oddly bright blue October sky. And now I remember, they were the same color when I took the photos for my first blog post ever in front of them.
How nice it is to let the colors match up for once.
As I write this, I’m getting worried maybe there isn’t a point to what I’m saying. I’m encouraging myself to stop this worrying because maybe the point isn’t that there’s a point. The point is just that I’m writing. I’m doing what I love and expressing how I feel and remembering my voice, not because it’s what I think everyone else wants. So here I am, not apologizing for not posting on my blog enough. It won’t always be like this, but for now perfection isn’t on my mind. What’s on my mind is the blue and yellows.