Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Don't Be a Dark Squishy Turtle - Take a Break (Identity Series: Part 1)

I don't know how to do this.

I feel like I say that a lot.  But honestly, every once in a while, inevitably, I come back to this point.  Very often, that sentence applies to a lot of things in my life.

"I don't know how to blog consistently."
"I don't know how to keep my emotional state steady for more than about a day or two (or an hour or two)."
"I don't know how to coerce inspiration into visiting me."
"I don't know how to be myself."

Who am I?  I guess it's a normal question to be asking right before college. The crazy mess of high school is over, and now that my time isn't constantly taken up with homework, sports, concerts, poetry slams, and other performances...I'm not really sure what to do with myself.

I've tried to do a lot of creative things this summer. I've done a lot of creative things this summer.  I want to feel like "myself" again.  Except, when I tried to go back to that, I started to realize that I didn't even know what I was trying to go back to.  Some part of myself has been left behind...or moved forward?  I'm not sure.  *cue existentialist identity crisis #37 of this week*


*the wild Caroline returns after abandoning this post for about a week*

*doesn't know what's going on (AKA nothing's changed)*

Plot twist, I'm gonna do a little series on identity.  Fitting, since I'm about to go to college, I'm a introspective little bean, and I have an identity crises about every five minutes. Obviously, I'm an expert on the topic.

Actually, I've really been learning a lot lately.  So expect a few (maybe shorter-than-normal?) posts on identity - both metaphorically, literally, and sarcastically in the next week or two. Probably Broadway musical references.  And If I randomly never post another part of this series, well....I mean, identity is hard, man!  I probably got amnesia and forgot I had a blog. (A good and convincing excuse that I should use here more often.)

Before I forget where this post was even going...

Take a break.

Like, you owe the world nothing?  The globe keeps turning if you sit back and don't write that post today?  Empires rise and fall in the presence of your action and non-action and there is no correlation there.

In other words, it's okay to be inconsistent with blogging (and other things in life. Obviously, please consistently water your pet cactus - but like, other than that?).  There are 'rules' and stuff for blogging if you wanna get "popular" - 'post on the same day each week', 'go follow other blogs', 'keep your content & voice consistent', etc.  And yeah, that stuff can work pretty well.

But at the cost of your enjoyment being viciously ripped away and stomped on by Dementors?  Not worth it, friendo. If you're struggling to keep up a blog right now, it's okay.  Keep struggling, instead of forcing yourself to be perfect.  Because you might attain that 'perfection', but there's always going to be consequences.  (AKA every fantasy book ever - because it's TRUE.)  In high school, I did a lot of stuff that I liked. Kept my grades up, took challenging classes - and everyone said I was "successful".


I was just stalking my own archives (as you do), when I found this post that describes EXACTLY how I've been feeling lately.  (Funny how I thought I learned that lesson....I guess it's like those college classes, the ones that are like 'yay you can retake this one as many times as you want hooray')

"But ignore the late nights.  Ignore the stress and irritation.  Close your eyes to the tears, because these are just side effects.  Just tiny inconveniences, not long term, that must be overcome.  Until they started to disable me.  Too tired, too stressed.  Working harder to keep up with the "standards".  If I complete my to-do list, I'll finally feel good. Then I can be happy, carefree.  But until then, just gotta plug through. 
And then I just couldn't. I got to a point where I physically and mentally could no longer maintain the demands I'd built up for myself.  I simply couldn't keep playing the deadly game, courting the idol.  There reaches a point for every human being at which they realize that they are not invincible.  The longer it takes, the harder it hits. " (Read the rest)

I kinda feel invincible sometimes.  I think I should be.  But on the inside (the part I keep ignoring, because duh, who even needs those vital organs anyway?)  I am hurting.  Stuck in the lie that my identity is how well, how fast, how much...I do things.  My brain is a little too heavy from the weight of all that pressure and performance and self-imposed standards.

It's kind of like being a turtle.  A very fast turtle, who likes to zip around all day and has a very hard shell, but is all squishy and dark and ouch inside.

Don't be a dark squishy turtle.

Take a break.

Who are you?  Have you taken a break recently?  Are you going to remember that your identity isn't based off of how many things get done in day? Please do. 💙

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