08/10/20 (TWOS Day 1)
Aug 10, 2020
There’s a weeklong #1000wordsofsummer challenge happening. Usually, these challenges are 14 days long, which feels impossible to even attempt. But seven days seems doable, especially since I have so few other responsibilities these days.
In all honesty, I’m not doing great. 23 hasn’t really been the most fun so far. I feel somewhat like the world feels: unstable and unclear. When I was younger, I associated getting older with feeling more in command, as each subsequent year was associated with new privileges to get used to. 23 feels like the start of birthdays as most adults see them— a reminder that you’re a little bit further from your childhood and teenage years that seem rosier than you ever remember them being.
I moved into a new place a few weeks ago and have been slowly getting things to furnish it. At my last place, I used only hand-me-down furniture that occupied 100% of the space I had available. In this new place with new furniture and more space, I’m a bit dumbfounded. I spent some time without a bed frame and some time with a bed, so I’ve learned to appreciate the value that they provide a bit more. But there’s space to fill beyond them, there are possibilities on what I can do. And that sucks for me. I hate open-ended problems without constraints. Each possibility is an anxious exercise in thinking about how things can go wrong.
I’m afraid of the ocean, even though I enjoy the beach. The ocean seems to stretch endlessly, an unknown expanse. Yet the beach is an end or a beginning.
In high school, I listened to music every minute that I wasn’t in school or talking with my family. Spotify was always open in the background, playing through James Blake’s discography or whoever else I was obsessing over at the time. It served as my emotional release to keep me sane as I seemed to endlessly dedicate myself to doing some pointless piece of homework or studying or whatever else that high schoolers were instructed to at the time.
In the past couple of years, I’ve been going through these phases where music just doesn’t interest me. During these phases, I’ll find myself filling the silence with some podcast or another, unable to find any song that feels worth listening to. I don’t know if it’s a depressive symptom or not, but it’s torturous to be robbed of enjoyment of something that brings you the most joy in your life.
Thankfully, I’ve been finding comfort in music in a way that I haven’t been able to experience in years. Something changed in the last few months and I’m diving deeper into music than I thought I could anymore. I’ve been exploring different genres, but I find myself looking for something that feels safe. That means the simplicity of ambient music, or the quiet loudness of Phoebe Bridgers, or the consistency of the four-on-the-floor beat in the electronic songs I’ve been loving. And right now, it’s the viscous feeling that slowed + reverbed remixes give me.
And honestly, I just need some goddamn comfort. The world is a messed up place and it feels like every day it becomes more evident how messed up it is. Maybe this is what 23 is, or what growing older is. Realizing that I had the privilege to tune a lot of things out and slowly realizing that many other people didn’t. It’s looking around and realizing that there’s so much work to do just to bring the rest of the world to a similar state to the world you live in. It’s feeling like shit that you don’t have the energy to put more into helping. But it’s also realizing that you can’t just lay in bed doing nothing all the time and that you have to will yourself into doing more. It’s being open about how you’re doing so that your support system can help you to help.
I’ve been trying to write more and share more. For years, I used to write blog posts all the time, without necessarily caring what they said because no one would read them. However, I’ve started to realize that people actually read what I say. It’s been making me conscious of what I say.
I feel like a broken record, churning out the same ideas over and over again. Really, how many different ways can I say that vulnerability is important, and that art/creativity are the keys to understanding? How many times can I say that I would love to be a part of a community? The worst part is that I’ve started to care about whether or not people read my work. I’ve started to wonder why people aren’t replying. And as natural as that is, I hate it wholeheartedly.
At this point, it doesn’t matter what I write, or if I bored my two readers with repetitive content. At this point, I just need to write. I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s for me to become a professional writer or just to get better for the sake of being a better writer. But either way, I don’t want to write just to get validation for the fact that I can say something. I don’t want my words to be anything more than a scream into the void that I exist.
I’m afraid of being an individual, but I’m more afraid that I’ll lose my voice to trying to cater to the tastes of anyone else.
I’ll leave you with this TikTok that presents a similar oxymoron: