Lately, I have been so incredibly doubtful of myself. It happens to everyone especially writers. Sure, other people can have confidence and faith in my abilities in paths I choose. But me believing in my own damn self? It seems utterly impossible.
I’ve had one review published on a website a couple of years ago. I tried to write a second review, but the editor preferred a more “you’re either for it or against it, not in the middle!” and I was like sure, sure let me fix it. Until, I never fixed it. And I never went back.
I suppose it haunts me a little before it was the guilt of letting the editor down. Also, it was this urge to never ever have someone tell me to choose an opinion if the art/play/what have you didn’t inspire any such thing. Doesn’t that mean that the art failed not me? But my feelings were contrary, I was at war with myself. I decided my chops weren’t good enough and that my head wasn’t in the game. Shouldn’t I be salivating at any opportunity to get my shit published? Dude?! Seriously, JUST PICK A SIDE.
But I didn’t want to.
I want to go to Paris and write about my adventures there. Except, my adventures weren’t at all majestic (I’m a broke teacher) or otherworldly (I also like knowing where I sleep every night and indoor plumbing). Sure I was on the run from some cemetery guards… but should I really write about that? People want to hear about the posh cuisine or how I managed to spend only 300 euros in one week (gifts were put on credit card… call it cheating. I call it winning, those euros were a gift from grateful parents!). I thought writing for an audience would be so much cooler and let me be real. EASIER.
It’s not. I do not know why I even thought it would be. Either way, all I ended up doing in Paris was studying the art, wandering around like Paris was my runway, pretending to be Parisian and it worked p.s., and hanging out with some dead guys. I was alone for most of the trip which was both scary and wicked. I cried the first night I was alone. My best friend boarded her train, I went to my first hostel and thought about the dirty sheets I sat in. I cried. Not ten minutes late a lady came into change the sheets which was embarrassing but very welcome.
I remember walking the streets alone and not wanting company. I preferred to chat to dead writers in the cemetery. As if they could talk back, it was probably a sign that I am mentally unstable but oh well. It feel oddly comforting and they seemed more real to me. These respected and loved people, dead and gone. They were in pages at my home but now I was here, in their home. What would they do in my position?
They wouldn’t stop. They didn’t stop. But why did I stop? I still am frozen in place, now in 2015. Paused at this road, stalled and unwilling to go forward. I have been told to get dirty, to do what I won’t like in order to get better. I don’t will myself to do it. I thought that’s the opposite of the direction you’re supposed to go in. No, the opposite of where I’m supposed to go. I hear Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde back in that cemetery. The voices I gave to them and they say, “get the fuck over it.”
Ugh. It’s easy for you to say. You’re dead! Ok and you published lots of great works. I haven’t forgotten.