Sunday, February 26, 2006     « Resiliance, Determination »


How do I explain this? I was going to put everything into the context of a year ago but the context is already here anyways. I have a tendency to over contextualize everything. I have written recently that I am burned out and struggling as a result. The work I am doing now is incredibly personally challenging. I'm not saving the world, or finding a cure for cancer but I am trying to do something that matters a great deal to me, while simultaneously attempting to achieve my own greatness. Basically that just means I am trying to push myself to another level, to become who I can be. I'm not narcissistic enough to expect anyone else to give a shit about that, but it matters a hell of a lot to me. Both of these goals require me to do things that pick at deeply entrenched fears and old wounds. I know the root of them, and I'm passed that part, but now I'm getting at the really deep stuff - the stuff I don't quite understand. On top of that I am working myself to the bone with no rewards. At least when I am deep inside all of this it starts to seem like there are no rewards now and there will never be rewards. It's a lie I tell myself when I am pushing too hard. So then I start to lose sight of why I am doing this and why I ever thought it was a good idea in the first place. Burnout does that. I learned this lesson the hard way a long time ago and am frustrated by the fact that I am here again by my own choice. Plus I had terrible insomnia for a while there and that on top of the constant work and constant stress was doing my head in. And then "Why am I doing this again?" Cause without meaning I am literally putting myself through all of this for absolutely nothing.

The other day someone (from my side) reminded me that I am a nobody. People love to put you in your place the second you say no to something. It's all high fives and love and "You're the bests", when you're saying yes all the time. But the second you say no you're shit, you're nothing. That's where this comes in. Don't pick them up, don't lay them down. I figured out years ago that if I was ever going to get over my own shit I would need to define who I am for myself outside of what anyone else thinks. Growing up, I was told everyday in countless ways that I was nothing, would never be anything, and I had better get the fuck over this insane idea that anything I did or had to say about anything was valid. In fact not only was it not valid but there were consequences to trying. I never did figure out what I was supposed to do instead except just be flat. Be flat. Be nothing. Don't show yourself. And I never did figure out what the consequences were, but way deep down, whenever I push to another level of showing myself I wait for those undefined consequences to come and get me.

Fear eats the soul.

Sometimes I think I am stupid and irresponsible to myself for revealing what I do in a public arena, especially considering the public nature of the work I am doing. And yet I feel like I have some kind of duty to it and to myself. That this is better for me in the long run. Through my photos and my words I give a lot of people the impression that I am unhappy or depressed when in fact I am neither. We live in such a bipolar world where happiness is always wearing a smile (no matter what) and where difficulty and fulfillment can't coexist. I can laugh and struggle. I can cry and be happy. I can cry and be sad, and still feel good inside. I can struggle and be angry. I can be angry and use that anger in a positive way. When I'm not seeing the results I want, I have to keep reminding myself that growth and change is not a linear progression towards a world of sunshine and roses. Sometimes this is so hard I want to kick the walls (we should all be less tentative about kicking some walls) and sometimes I am incredibly grateful for all of this - the stuff that comes with ease and the struggle.

Throughout this process I have been most lost at the times when I felt like I was the only person having a hard time with some of these things. And yet I know there is no way in hell I am the only one. So why not be honest? Why not?

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