“Sometimes I get so tired of being critiqued in everything I do. Art and writing. It gets so hard to still actually want to create something. But I guess that comes with the territory, your creativity will always be judged, labeled and critiqued. It’s hard because creativity is close to my heart and getting criticized is therefore so personal. I feel it a lot in my art classes both comparison and competition. I don’t feel like it should be there, but for me, it always is. I can’t handle it very well because I’ve always wanted and strived to be the best, to be unique and fresh and different and…good at something. But in reality I can’t be the best. I don’t have the skills or the motivation with art and it’s hard to accept this truth. Sometimes I still want to do it, but not at school, not anymore. Now I’ve moved on to writing and that’s probably smarter anyway. It isn’t my first love but it’s the second and maybe I can do something with it. I hope I can.” April 30, 2002
I was mining the box of writing in my closet again for more inspiration for my next novel. I found this gem that speaks to me now as much as it did back then. It’s cool to find something I wrote a long time ago, over 10 years now when I was a sophomore in College and realize that I…was smart in some ways or maybe even wise. While reading through these journal entries I also realized that I was going through a lot of emotional trauma back then,, not only my struggle with mental illness but also learning who I was and how I fit in in the world. Relationships with others, my skills or lack there of, my decisions about the kinds of things I wanted to do were all on my mind. I was testing the waters. It’s funny to me because I feel like I’m doing that again in my life. A new renaissance for me where I’m publishing my own writing online, both my very personal novel and this blog and I’m feeling both criticism and positivity and I’m learning still, who I want to be and how I want to be perceived.
Lately I keep thinking that I’m having an identity crisis. At the end in the blank pages of this journal I was reading from, I decided to write a new entry. After detailing what’s going on in my life right now I wrote, “I feel like a different person everyday and yet from reading these old entries I can see the themes running through my life too. The themes seem to be self-expression, art, writing, my ability to get my feelings out in some way or other. It makes me feel good that I’m doing all this again and in a more official way. I have taken my writing and made something of it and that makes me proud, proud enough to tell my old self, don’t worry girl, you’ll get there someday and when you do, you’ll be happy. You might not think you know who you are, but you do, deep down you do and these new challenges are only strengthening you for the future. It’s not an identity crisis, it’s a journey of self discovery.”