What 2018 Has Taught Me
2018 was one for the books. This year has been the first time in my life I truly felt alive. Life was new and fascinating as if I had just been born. I was trying to cram in all the experiences I should've had years ago. As these new experiences and feelings were alluring, they were equally frightening and unprecedented. I knew to truly gain any insight from them, I was going to have to acknowledge some hard truths...
What 2018 Has Taught Me
The other night I was driving around with one of my good friends. We were talking about what we wished for ourselves in the coming year. We both spawned a similar goal; to make our dreams tangible.
2018 was one of the most transformative years of my life. I entered my twenties, and though it's cliche of me to admit, it has changed my mindset about a few things. Or rather it's brought very important things to light that have been surfacing in me throughout my teens.
Growing up, finding creative outlets through everyday life was second nature to me. I’d fill notebooks with amateur poetry, prose, or phrases I heard throughout the day. My creations were very sacred to me. I’d hardly share them with anyone. I privatized this outlet of mine, and it was the only thing I truly considered my own.
By my teenage years, I had created such an expansive inner world of inspiration that brought me the liberation and freedom I craved. Freedom from the mundane tasks of everyday life and my own isolation. It was easy for me to believe in this idea I created. And like all things that are too good to be true, it was.
I wasn’t aware how much of a disservice I was bringing upon myself. Not only was I now oblivious to the beauty in everyday life — learning new things, building relationships, love — but this beautiful world of mine was never going to touch the world around me. For I lacked the ability to communicate my ideas with others.
Obviously, this got in the way of my ability to make an actual, meaningful connection with anybody. I was living in my own head most of the time, so it was easy for me to disconnect with things I actually cared about. This led me to feel trapped in exhausted situations with no foreseeable way out.
My inability to make my dreams tangible was ceaselessly frustrating. My whole life I felt a strong passion for something I couldn’t describe. Consequently, every piece of media that would resonate with me or inspire me on any level would end up consuming my life. It was the only way I could feel any closer to making my own inner world a reality.
letting go of my safety net
This artistic identity of mine was not mutually exclusive to my personal identity. Without my music, my books, my clothes, I didn’t feel like there would be much left. I was running wildly, instinctively, grasping on with dear life for anything that made me feel I had any place in this world at all.
Despite how frantic I felt, this absurdity was my safety net. The shelter that art provided, prevented me from realizing how stagnant I was becoming. Where was I headed with my own art and ideas? If other people can do it, why can’t I?
At times I would ask myself these questions, but I already knew it was because I didn’t know how. I didn’t know how to bring the creative energy that was constantly stewing inside of me to ever see the light of day. With every birthday that passed, I felt I had less time to figure out and more time wasted.
Maybe turning twenty brought me to this current epiphany, but you can only live instinctively for so long until your fears actually start to become alluring. Feeling that if you don’t do it now, it’s never going to happen starts becoming a mantra in your head. If I’m waiting for a moment that feels right, then I’m going to be waiting forever.
making dreams tangible
A goal of mine in 2018 was to be able to put my dreams into words. Ultimately, I wanted to find a name for that passion I felt. I didn't realize how lofty of a goal that was, considering how directionless I felt at the beginning of the year. There were many hard truths I had to face, but above all, I have more of an understanding of the confusion and isolation I felt during my teenage years, and what to make of it now.
Perhaps I’ve had the ability to share my inner world this whole time, but I was just too scared to face the repercussions of it. These days I find myself doubting if I could live knowing I never tried. That seems scarier than anything else I could imagine.
These fears, that are now opportunities I've never entertained, are clearer and truthfully fascinating. In 2019, I hope to explore this part of myself and slowly but surely, bring out my inner world. My means of doing this; through my art, my writing, to the way I carry myself, only to exude that I am one step closer to living my truth.
Happy New Year.