Learning Truths About Myself

Some truths, some of which conflict:

I enjoy being romantically attached, but I get attached easily…just as easily as I can let those feelings whiter into the damp, forgotten darkness of a mulch pit.

I need a travel buddy. Someone who is willing to take The Great American road-trip and backpack through Europe.

I want a stable job and a place of my own again.

Scientists say the human brain is completely done maturing, or evolving, by age 25. It’s the point where hormonal-driven choices should have calmed themselves down to a silent pattering as logic proudly steps into the forefront. Coincidentally, it is also the same age that one can rent a car in the United States and at which car insurance premiums lower for both male and female drivers. 25 is this magical number. 25 is around the corner for me. Well, maybe a few more blocks, and then around the corner.

How much is a person supposed to “learn” or “develop” by the time they turn 25? We become capable of more complex thoughts, analytical reasoning of abstract ideas, and all-around able to separate our emotions from those thoughts. The first two are skills, inherently formed but only cultivated when actively engaged. (You don’t use it, you lose it.) The last is a limbo in itself. Some of the greatest science/art/social/political/etc movements throughout history were bred by emotions, but organized by logic. People have spent their entire lives studying the works of others, reveling in their brilliance and absorbing the passion that their art still emits.

That’s all well and dandy, but what about our personalities?

The human psyche is a damn-near impossible thing to figure out. We – myself in particular – have this insatiable need to study the motivations and actions of others, whether we are criminologists, actors, or paranoid-delusional; we have this unexplained need to size up our competition. It takes a very special frame of mind and a unique inner strength to be completely at peace with…everything. Buddhist monks are a great example of this; they are almost completely removed from modern civilization and the mentality that comes along with it. Societal pressures disappear, allowing a peaceful co-existence within themselves. (To grossly summarize to the bare-bones.) How can an almost-25 year old woman, who grew up in the suburbs, living an astonishing average life, achieve such nirvana? How can anyone else with a similar background achieve nirvana? We become so wound up in our psyches, always questioning, always afraid to miss out on the latest Twitter update. We are incredibly fearful, but of what?

I asked a friend of mine the other day, a fellow writer, if he sometimes felt like he wasn’t cut-out to pursue the creative “thing”. “All the time,” he responded. I told him I felt the same way. I’ve come to the conclusion that I still don’t know why I write completely, other than I enjoy it and I like to think I’m good at it, but how often does one hear a compliment from someone else concerning your work or life accomplishments? Majority of the recognition I receive is minimal at best, and it’s mostly from strangers or people who have Facebook-stalked the crap out of me for years. (We all do it.) People who I consider my close friends do not read my work and if they do they do not make it known. I’ve dated guys, even had long-term relationships with guys, who I’ve asked to read my work, and it has ended up sitting on a shelf or a nightstand, gradually buried under loose change and empty beer cans, drowned in man-rubble.

But that points to the mother-of-all-fears that I carry like a heavy burden at times –  the fear of being inadequate to another person, or to my craft. I need attention. Period. I don’t need to be the center of attention, I just need to feel remembered and appreciated. It’s something I’ve tried to change about myself, to be the “cool” girl who doesn’t get mad when the guy she’s interested in bails on their “date”, or the friend who is okay with making all the group outing plans. If I were to stop calling people, no one would call me, it seems. Why is that? Is it because I have a lot great companions who I connect with, and therefore everyone assumes that I’m busy and doesn’t want to put in the effort? I feel this pressure to be so accommodating and so carefree to escape some double standard that I haven’t a clue to its actual existence.

For as much of a balance between creativity and logic that I think I have, I feel half-way hinged. I am incapable of perceiving myself as another person would majority of the time. What am I to a prospective employer? To the seasoned writer? To the guy that I’ve known for years and finally allowed myself to have feelings for? Call it a flaw, or an insecurity, or call me a bat-shit crazy bitch, but I need to know what I give out in adoration and remembrance is mutually and truthfully returned. If not, in classic Cancerian style, I will retreat into my shell, only to be coaxed out by forceful separation with a crowbar.

I suppose it’s the fear of a writer, or any artist, to have a booming style, art with actual importance, and to have no one care. But are real artists supposed to inherently have that ravenous urge to create, in order to logically define their constantly changing selves and their place in a constantly changing world? If art is a pursuit of the unattainable, then artists inflict their own suffering to create, or else face the nine to five job and two point five kids. Art is about figuring out what else life has to offer besides the daily grind. It is for people who are constantly questioning, sometimes unhappy, and who fear becoming lost in a world that revolves around taxes and reproduction.

My brain may be nearing its full maturity, but this Buddhist-like quest of inner harmony conflicts with the natural instinct to explore and to be somewhat emotionally reckless. I’m not sure if I will ever “improve” any further upon my flaws aforementioned, but at least when I am kicked down, I do not stay down.

I channel Chuck Norris.


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