Blank sheets of paper are intimidating. Sometimes you have thousands of thoughts floating in your head, but no way to get them on to the paper. That blank sheet just seems daunting, clinical, clean, and crisp. My thoughts are not always like that. My brain feels scattered and messy, like a toddlers crayon box, broken scraps of discarded colorful wax and paper wrappings, or a 6th graders locker on the last day of school, full of books, and trash, and pictures, and letters from friends. There are many topics that need to be written about, talked about and explored, but I feel trapped today. Maybe it is left over brain fog from the sinus infection I’ve been fighting, or maybe its exhaustion, I just feel off today.
But the thing is, even when I don’t know what I am supposed to be writing about, I still feel the need to write. I can remember from as far back as early childhood wanting to write things down. Not that I feared forgetting the emotions and feelings, but that I wanted to preserve every piece of them and what caused them, what brought them into being. It is exhausting and a literal mind fuck to constantly be pulled to feel things for everyone. I feel everyone’s emotions and its a blessing and a curse. The only release I have it to write it down.
Every feeling, every thought, every emotion is the reaction or product of the circumstance around it. When we start a new job, we feel nervous, anxious, excited, overwhelmed, and hopeful. We see the new desk and the new calendar and the new office, new co-workers new boss, new work load. It creates sensations and stirs up tremors in our brain. I want to record it all. I want to be able to go back and tell someone about the way the paint smelled, and the way the chair felt when I sat in it. I want to write down these things and have them forever.
When I look at a couple in love, saying their vows, I want to describe the way her hair falls around her eyes, and the way the satin on her dress sashays when she walks down the aisle. I need to be able to record in detail the way her partner looks at her and sees the most beautiful woman in the world, the mother of her children, and the love of her life.
I feel drawn to a field a flowers and want to write about the vibrant oranges and reds and yellows of the roses, the blues and violets of the iris’s and how lovely they all smell. How when you take your nose and breathe them in it reminds you of home, and of your mother and how much she loves you, and always will, even when you let her down and disappoint her. I want to write about the warmth of the sun on your face and the brightness in your eyes. I want to keep alive the feelings of happiness it brings to your heart and how thoughts of your childhood best friend come to mind. When you used to lie on your back on the ground sharing pink lemonade, staring at the sky picking out shapes in the clouds, complaining about the ants and mosquitoes biting your ankles. But those were the good things to worry about.
I can’t let go of the sad moments either. The heartbreak you feel when you’ve been with a lover for 4 years and you look him in the eyes and you tell him you can’t marry him. You just don’t feel that way for him anymore. It’s selfish, but it’s freeing. You don’t want to break this person’s heart, but you can’t break your own either. The conflict it creates when you know you are hurting your best friend and you hate yourself for it and yet love yourself being honest. Or when you love a woman so much you know that you can’t hold her back any more. And you look at her and you know she deserves something more or something different from what you can give her. So you walk away and though you want to take a peek behind you, you keep stepping one foot in front of the other. You keep moving forward.
Those last moments you spend with your fur baby, the dog that had been with you through everything. Life had been so cruel to him until you found each other and the last 10 years were happy. But it’s time to let him go and the pain you feel as he’s lying in your lap and the vet sticks the needle in his leg and you watch him slowly fall asleep for the last time.
When you talk to a friend that you once shared everything with and wonder what changed. The awkward betrayal you feel when you try to make jokes and are met with blank stares and pursed lips. What happened to the friendship; the last night talks and hour long phone calls? You want to go back to that closeness, but you fear it is lost and can’t ever be found again.
All of these feelings are REAL.
I fear that the world is losing its ability to feel. And I think that I am drawn to capture, to memorialize these emotions, these feelings, so that people can be reminded of them. Everyone lately is so caught up in technology, in being the best, the brightest, the shiniest, that they forget to just breathe and live in each moment. People seem to have one goal and that is to get ahead, to be more, to have the next big thing, to get through the day, or to survive. So few people take the time to just STOP and be. With children being raised by TV’s and PC’s, adults spending more time at the gym and less time running around with their friends and family, I fear what is happening. I fear that people are forgetting each other. They are forgetting love. Forgetting happiness. Forgetting sadness. People are turning into blank faces, blank pieces of daunting white paper; just wanting someone to write their emotions for them.
Don’t be like that white paper my friend. Don’t always be intimidating. Don’t make life so clinical and crisp that you forget to have real emotions. Because people like me, miss you.