NOTE: This started out as a mere compilation of a lot of things I’ve been meaning to write about, but towards the middle of it, I finally realized what has been bothering me so much and I’m really proud that I came to a resolution with that issue. I didn’t cut out the beginning of this piece and didn’t try to make it more cohesive for posterity’s sake, and because I’m a little bit lazy. Okay, enjoy ❤
How are you? Are you good? Are you great? I’m pretty good. I think I’m pretty great actually. I’ve been having some trouble writing, though. I can’t really figure out what to say. You can watch it unravel before you in this video:
The spirit of this video, aka its existence as a smattering of a bunch of things on my mind, will appear in this blog post. I have a lot of little ideas in my head, however, for some reason, I can’t find that diligence I usually have when writing about something I’m passionate about. I think a lot of it comes from getting a bit more attention lately and me being more conscious as to what I say. Maybe it comes from the idea of me being entirely too conscious of where my trains of thought will end up.
Maybe it comes from a loss of touch with myself- because, lately, I’ve quite simply been very aware of everything. Like, who I’m going to be when I show up on campus in a little over 60 days. Or the person I am around my old friends vs. people I just meet. I think I’ve just been launched into a lot of self-reflection, which I am, of course, always grateful for, however, it’s just a little bit more aggressive than usual this time around.
I’ve been writing a lot in my journal, nothing artful or prose-y, or blog worthy, I just feel like I should be writing down how I feel, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been listening to a lot of the 1975 and audiobooks, cuddling with Coco, writing down new words I find, and getting cute meal dates with people I want to get to know better. I’ve met a lot of readers on campus, which is actually one of the most surreal and incredible experiences of my life every time it happens. A nice boy from Spain, a sweet girl from China- it’s put a lot of things into perspective, meeting the people that my words have touched thousands of miles away. Life isn’t bad right now. Life is actually really, really good right now. I am so, incredibly happy.
“So, Izzy, what’s up? What’s on your mind?”
I’m just going to run through a bunch of little things I’ve wanted to write about. I’ll keep them down to one sentence each, so I can just spout them off quickly before I lose them and the ideas float off in the wind forever:
- Watching someone create and share their art is the most inspiring thing in the whole universe.
- Art is really hard when you have this mild insuppressible fear of getting things wrong.
- Words and actions have such a huge effect; I don’t understand how people aren’t more careful with them.
- Dancing in the car listening to loud music is one of the many joys that are stifled by inhibitions facilitated by the fear of judgment of others.
- Nothing exists except right now.
- A lot of popular-culture-things have desensitized us to the idea of being a bully.
- Reading and listening (books, articles, interviews) are the best ways to remedy a poor control of language.
- My biggest concern as of right now is “being myself.”
Allow me to extrapolate upon that last one.
So, my issue is that I’m trying to be myself, yet, I’m having doubts as to who “I” am.
I think this whole weird foggy self-hyperawareness and unsettled-ness, (explained for two whole paragraphs earlier) stems from 5 things.
- Suddenly getting more attention on my blog (which is SO COOL) (it’s so exciting oh my goodness, hello, new friends, I’m sorry I’m getting a lil weird today) (i’m not always so weepy weep), and feeling like there are 48349857 more eyes on me and everything that I do. It’s probably a justifiable concern. However, it’s made me feel like I’m putting on a front, even if I’m not, and then I launch myself into this spiral of, “Who do they think I am? Who do I think I am?” and then I just lie on the ground.
- Starting college in almost exactly two months. It’s the chance to be more me than I have been my whole life, however, my dear, that’s a little bit of an issue. A lot of my life has been spent looking at myself through the lens of other people, people I have spent my whole life with. So, when that lens is gone, and I suddenly get to look at myself through a different lens, aka my own lens, I am suddenly stricken by this sense of, “Who am I?” and simultaneously, “What kind of lens will my future peers have?” Lots of uncertainty I used to ignore easily, yet am extremely in tune with now.
- Meeting and talking to a lot of new people in the past 2 months. This point is actually an amalgamation of the first two since a lot of those new people are my future classmates as well as readers. Making first impressions all over again can be very jarring when you haven’t had to introduce yourself to oceans of new someones all at once in a very, very long time. Which segues into my next point-
- I have been home a lot this summer, definitely more than any of my past summers. For as long as I can remember, I have always been in a summer program, camp, team, or production during vacation, so this is the first time where I’m not obligated to interact with people every day and exercise my social skills. As a result of being an inadvertent recluse, I realized I legitimately developed a mild case of social anxiety. (I came to identify this when I went to a bonfire with my brother and his friends. It was scary and immobilizing, and I didn’t know why it was happening to me. Again, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to act; I didn’t know what my personality was. The feeling is hard to explain, sort of like everything was happening in front of me and I was watching it through a screen.)
- Okay, lastly, I have been admiring a lot of people lately. Other creators, artists, students, my own friends, etc., etc., etc.. I remember writing in my journal, “Have you ever looked up to so many people that it’s somewhat immobilizing?” There are so many people I want to emulate: Will Darbyshire, Dodie Clark, Matty Healy, some of my brother’s friends, Emma Watson, Sarah Kay, some of my own friends, some people I want to befriend that I’ll be going to school with next year, Jon Bellion, Ed Sheeran, AH so many people. I end up feeling torn in all different directions by my own head. Which is so weird. So, so weird. I start to wonder, “Why can’t you just want to be the best version of yourself, rather than wanting to be some sort of version of them?”
Matty Healy once said in an amazing interview:
“I’ve always had a very strong sense of identity; I’ve never really had that idea of wanting to be somebody or specifically relating to somebody. It’s always been the idea of wanting them to like me.
“I never spent much time as a kid wishing to be anybody else, just yearning to achieve my own potential.”
Since I’ve found that quote, I have held it very close to my heart, yet I haven’t quite allowed it to find its way into my bloodstream quite yet, which I really should. I think meditating upon it now is helping that process as I type this. I just need to “be the best me I can be.” I need to drill that sentiment into my head and continue being myself, in all of its weird, possibly nebulous, glory.
Alongside that, I need to, as I mentioned in my video, immerse myself into humanity through everyday interactions and realize that existence isn’t a solo gig. We all are here, on this Earth, trying our best. I supplement others and they supplement me. I can find “myself” by reflecting upon my relationships with other people. It’s like a puzzle, and I fit somewhere, and by meeting more and more pieces, I can figure out where exactly I fit. I’ll write about that someday. (I say puzzle, Matty says “human tapestry.” Bless him, it’s a beautiful concept.)
I guess the conclusion I have come to after writing all of this out, is that I need to just find the ease in living and enjoying myself once again. A lot of people are going through the same thing as me, trying to find an identity and maybe even a label to cling on to in order to find comfort in it. We build homes out of words and wear them around our necks like dog tags so that we don’t forget who we are or who we are supposed to be. I think that’s simply human nature, and it’s not necessarily something to be remedied, but rather something to be aware of.
Finding out “who I am” doesn’t have a finish line. It doesn’t have a clear-cut resolution because I am still growing, and I will continue to grow for the rest of my life.
I never really put it into words, but I’ve been trying to define myself, trying to figure out what adjectives people would use to describe me if I was brought up in conversation.
At the end of the day, I think the only adjectives that should matter to me are, “kind” and “genuine.”
That’s all I can hope to be.
P.S. I really should blog more. Similar to being able to come up with better ideas in a conversation rather than just thinking about it, blogging forces me to come to a resolution to any issue I try to bring to light. Sort of like a one-way conversation. I would never put you through any of my angst without presenting a way to, at least, try and get out of it, and I think that’s the beauty of it. I don’t want to romanticize and perpetuate personal struggles by simply letting it fester in my journal and my poetry. Blogging puts it into perspective, sends it out into the universe, and demands closure, which really, really, really helps.
So, thank you for reading, thank you for all of your help. ❤