Do you come here often? I don’t. Clearly, as my last visit was in May. Jeez.
Apologies for my absence/poor organisation skills. But I’ve been busy, to whatever extent.
I’ve been writing.
I suppose it’s ironic that the first thing I mention after so many months of blog silence is writing. But then, it’s not really ironic at all. Because I love to do it. I love writing, and I love my story, and I can say, quite unashamedly, that using one to create the other has given me a purpose in life. I’d be lost without my story. It’s a strange feeling to describe, but one I think that can be easily recognised by anyone with a passion in life, be it in what you do, how you live, or who you love. That feeling of being filled by something, of something driving you in life. Of the very thought of it being so strong that you don’t feel alone. Of knowing that it’s in you, or with you, always. Of believing in something, or someone, so strongly, that it makes all else inconsequential. That childlike feeling of elation, or hope, or maybe a little of both.
The kind of emotion that grips you so fiercely that it feels a little like magic.
That’s the kind of feeling I’m talking about. That butterfly feeling. My book gives me butterflies. Writing my book gives me butterflies. Often it’s not so much the act of writing as the feeling you get when you’re ‘onto something’, when you end up writing a line you keep repeating to yourself, that comes to you in the middle of the day and makes you smile, even laugh. Writing can be a torturous affair, but there’s no other way I’d rather spend my time.
Because I’ve seen my characters, I’ve heard them. I’ve seen their world, and felt their fear, and anger, and passion, and love. They live their lives in my head as I’m living my own. They’re part of me, the whole story is. I gave my story life, and it saved mine in return.
Hmmm. Let me make that sentence a little less dramatic.
I have always wanted an extraordinary life, the kind I always dreamed of having as a chid, back in a world without limits, back when anything was possible. Not in the sense of being rich and famous. In the sense of just doing something more, of being something more. Not once in my childhood, when wondering about what to do when reaching the realm of ‘adulthood’, did I ever want to work in an office at a job I didn’t like. Never once did I want an unremarkable life in which I had a job to simply pay the bills. I didn’t want a job, I wanted a career. My two favourite things in life were books and movies, and remain so to this day. Is it any wonder that I’m writing a book and looking at jobs in film? I want to work for my passions in life, not to simply pay my way. I don’t want to exist, I want to live. I want to make myself a life I am proud of, a life I can say I worked for, strived for. A life where I can say that I tried, that I knew what I loved and what made me happy, and I chased it. My book has been a big part of that passion, and a step in the right direction. It has saved me from a ‘safe’ life, one which someone as anxious as me could easily have been swayed by. I can see how easily it happens. It’s a tempting route, the safe one. The safe comfortable job to pay the bills, to ‘get by’. The ‘it’s okay for now’ job. Until you realise years later down the line that maybe your job was a little too comfortable, and the time you’ve spent paying bills and getting by have lead you away from what you wanted once. Long ago. I’m always scared by that. So I usually start to get uncomfortable when I get comfortable in a job. But I’m going to try my best to keep one until I can secure more acting/directing/extra/runner/any kind of film/writing related jobs. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do, right Oprah?
And now, still, I want to be somebody. I want to be somebody who the younger me would be proud of.
I have always struggled with the idea of having a full-time job that you don’t like ‘because it’s well paid’. So what? So you’d rather get up early, drive to work or to a train station in a fancy car, before being stuck behind a desk all day at a job you don’t enjoy, to then spend a fraction of that time in your nice car to get back to a nice home in which you eat, sleep, and then wake up to repeat the exact same ritual. It’s a plan, for sure, one that some people seem content with. But I don’t know. To me, the whole thing just seems a little hollow if you don’t enjoy what you do for the majority of your day, of your life. In a full-time job, you often see your co-workers more than family members, spend more time in an office than at home. It just seems like an awful lot of time, precious time, to spend on something you don’t want. To dedicate your life, your time, to a job that just pays the bills when your passion lies elsewhere.
Especially when people just say, ‘that’s life’.
Because they’re wrong. Life doesn’t have to be that way. Life can be however you want it to be.
I think that’s always played a big part in me not wanting children, and commitment and responsibility in general, really. I never wanted to have a little person who depended on me, someone I had to sacrifice my life, my time for. Don’t get me wrong – I would love that kid unconditionally. But love isn’t always enough, especially where a child is concerned. They need your time, they need your attention. They need you. All of you. You have ceased to be an individual. You are a parent. You are a unit, parent and child, and forever will be. Your needs and your happiness, to however great an extent, now come second to your child’s. The plans you had before, the life you had before, the person you were before, all have to change, simple as that. And I’ve never been very good with change, even less so at sharing my time, conscious as I’ve always been of how precious it is.
Before we get carried away, I don’t think parenthood is a bad idea. Let me stop you right there. I think having a baby is one of the best things a person could ever do. One of the bravest, most wonderful, most selfless things imaginable. I am also aware of how much said baby will give you back in return for your complete devotion. That they fill you with the kind of passion I was describing earlier, that they bring you happiness. That they give you a purpose.
I think being a parent must be one of the best things in the world to be. It just simply isn’t for me.
I think I’d prefer my books to be my children. I’d happily be a proud mother to them.
That love is also unconditional. I’ve created the characters and their world, the world I so often escape to in daydreams. How could I not love them? Why would they not be such a big part of my life? Of me? They’ve been with me for a long time now, kept me company when I felt most alone. My story gave me hope. My story will always give me hope. In dreams, in life, and in myself.
I might continue this blog later. I have some more to say, but right now, I’m getting pretty sleepy.
Bedtime for me.
Thanks for listening, blog.