2016 was an interesting year, to say the least. I started my own online magazine, I was blogging more consistently, I met a slew of my favorite artists and human beings, and I said yes to adventures on more than one occasion. For the most part, I was doing okay. I was juggling my own blog, writing for an online magazine (that I’d been writing for since Fall of 2013), working, gaining more responsibility with Dream On Youth AND I was co-running a magazine of my own. I figured the more I was doing outside of my part time job, aka the more work I was doing geared toward building up my resume, the better. I felt in control of my life and more productive than ever before.
And then suddenly I wasn’t. I went from blogging as often as possible to not blogging at all. I went from keeping up with article assignments to posting them late or not at all. I went from nonstop writing to no writing. At all. I was at a loss. The random inspiration that usually comes from everyday thoughts, wasn’t there. It was like the creativity and the motivation was slowly drying up. I don’t even know how to describe it because I don’t know where everything went wrong. How did I go from 100 to 0 so fast? When did it start slowing down? I thought I had been running at a decent speed, but when I stopped to look around I wasn’t moving at all. I could see everything around picking up speed and I was struggling to keep up. A friend pointed out to me that I wasn’t myself, that something was wrong and that I needed to take some time off. And so I did, but I don’t think I ever got my rhythm back.
I think I spent a lot of 2016 hiding. Hiding in the crowds of concerts, hiding behind my endless scrolling through social media, hiding even in the books I read. But what was I hiding from exactly? Myself? The truth? Reality? Probably a mixture of all three.
Self-doubt and fear, two of my worst enemies. They resided inside of me throughout 2016. I thought I was doing okay. I thought I had a handle on things, and then I didn’t. I’ve been saying it was because I was overwhelmed or overworked. I was doing too much and when I realized that it felt like too much. But, honestly, I don’t remember feeling that way at all. I don’t know when the motivation leaked out of me, but I think I was pouring myself out without realizing eventually you come up empty.
I am a master at avoiding the things that scare me. The things that intimidate me are the first that I run from. And I I did a lot of running this year. Running and hiding.
“How’s the writing going”
I’m going, to be honest: It’s not. I am not writing and I haven’t truly written in quite some time.And I like to blame it on my job, claiming it's draining the creativity out of me. To an extent that is true. At some point, however, we must take responsibility for ourselves and our actions or rather our inaction. I haven’t been writing because yes I lack the motivation. I’ve thought about it, I’ll give myself that. I’ve had times where I crave the moment to sit down and just write until there’s nothing left to say (which there never is). I romanticize the writing process because most of the time I do love it. I love how I can get so lost in my own words that I lose track of the world around me. It’s a captivating feeling and I miss it terribly. But for some reason when I have the opportunity or time, writing has not been the first thing I gravitate towards. I run and I hide from it. Why would I run from something I supposedly want to do for the rest of my life? Well, my friends, it’s easier than facing rejection. It’s easier than acknowledging my fear of never writing a story I’m not inspired enough to finish. It’s easier than succumbing to the dark thoughts that I’m being unrealistic about my future. It’s just easier.
I’m in a rut and all I want is to find my way back. I want 2017 to be that cliche ‘fresh start.’
So, here’s to the new year. Here’s to fully embracing the idea of fearlessness: being absolutely terrified, but jumping anyway. Here’s to letting others inspire me rather than shake my confidence. Here’s to trying and accepting failure even if it breaks me because at least I can say I tried. At least I can come out of it knowing I did my best and knowing I gave it my all. I will feel like more of a failure if I refuse to let myself try, even a little bit. I know there has to be a story out there that only I can write, I just have to take a deep breathe and give myself a chance.
Let this be the year you set yourself free.
Never forget the essence of your spark!