I need to begin this by apologizing to our loyal readers, and also to Leanne, for my recent silence. I haven’t been as committed to my writing, but I can assure all of you that it was not because I lost interest. I simply didn’t know what to say. There were so many things I wanted to address – going back to school, various political events, my inability to focus on my homework – but every time I tried to write my tongue felt like it was tied in knots. Nothing made sense when I tried to write, and I just gave up.
I know that a lot of this had to do with going back to school, though the fact that I was a lot busier during the week didn’t contribute much to my writer’s block; I still had plenty of free time. To be completely honest, the whole “back to school” process terrified me. After everything that happened last year, seeing the word “school” made me think of panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, and feeling like I was going to explode. Summer hadn’t been perfect, but it was notably lacking all of the school-related stressors that had previously plagued me, which was a nice change. Summer vacation felt like silence after spending months surrounded by noise, and now that school had started again, I felt like I was plunging headfirst into the chaos. To put it in simple terms, I felt like I was going to throw up.
So the good news is that I didn’t end up exploding. I’ve still had some anxiety issues in these first few weeks, but I made a lot more progress over the summer than I had realized. I found that I really enjoy creating things – writing, making videos, building things, and even making music (I rap, I know, it’s weird) – and that spending time on embracing that creativity really helps to reduce my stress. After some trial and error, I think I’ve finally found a system that works for me.
My previous coping mechanism was to find something I liked and then latch onto it until I burned out. It started with writing my book (thankfully I was actually able to finish it, though I’m still working on getting published), and then shifted to working on this website, and then to making videos, and then finally to making music, which is what I’m currently spending far too much time on. Each of those things started out as something that felt fun and exciting, but eventually started to feel like work. I forced myself to write even when I had no ideas, I struggled to come up with good video ideas, and I got angry with myself when I could figure out how to make the beat I was working on sound like something off of a J. Cole album. I was unknowingly turning my hobbies into chores, and eventually I always ended up having to switch to something new. To be completely honest, most of that realization has come to me as I’m currently writing this. It’s funny how that works.
Preventing Future Explosions and Other Undesirable Occurrences
So, what’s the new magic system? Well, I’m going to write more for the site again, and I do regret the silence of the past few weeks. Moreover, I’m going to balance the things that I previously enjoyed but ultimately burned myself out on; I’m going to blend music making, writing, and video making into something that works towards a common goal. I can write lyrics, make the beats that go with them, and even record a music video once I finish a song. Once I figure out how to stop sounding so dumb when I rap, I think I’ll really have something good on my hands, but until then, I can at least have fun with it. I can do all of the stuff I love without doing too much of it at any one time, and I can still leave enough space to get my homework done and not flunk out of school. That’s the plan anyways. Wish me luck!