I don’t know how to write anymore.
I’ve been trying to reboot this blog for over a year, and I find I just can’t because I don’t know how to write anymore. What even is writing? Everything I try is either too self-pitying or too self-aggrandizing. Opinions are too narrow and never informed enough. What is truth? What is self? I don’t want this to be my self. I don’t like this self, sometimes. Is changing myself the same is changing the truth? Maybe truth and the self is irrelevant. The self is always changeable. So, who do I want to be then?
10 years ago I left my homeland. A safe, affluent, boring haven. I moved to an island in the pacific. It’s beautiful, hot, disparate. Homeless natives on the streets, foreign millionaires in glass towers. I went back to school. It’s pretty much the only thing I know how to do. I gained a Masters in Global Leadership and Sustainable Development. Then my studies of the world really began. I started this blog on December 30, 2012. It was to house my ideas – to make sense of things.
I stopped writing in early 2017. I’m sure you all remember the state of the world back then. I felt confused. I felt useless. I wanted so much to be of use, but felt I had nothing to contribute that someone else didn’t say more eloquently then me, more informed than me. I’m sure I was depressed, again. I didn’t go to therapy, yet, but I did go back to school, again. This time at the local community college to do a certificate in counseling because, well, studying and learning is how I make sense of things. Now I’m coming to the end of this two year program. It was a good decision to go. It was a good decision to spend a year in therapy while becoming a counselor myself. It was good to be out in the world again, away from my keyboard, where my presence and personality are the key tools for impacting others.
Except now I don’t know how to write anymore.
It’s a burden to be so keenly aware of the self. To weigh every thought, knowing that it is incomplete. Just the sum of my past experiences and learnings, with huge gaps. Find thinking errors with every thought. I struggle with impermanence right now. I know, logically, that nothing is permanent. Change is the only constant thing about the human experience, yet I’m terrified of creating anything that is not perfect and eternal. I fully feel this way, while knowing it’s wholly illogical, even damaging, to feel this way.
So I don’t write. I don’t make decisions. I float through life; light and airy.
I’m comfortable that way. I think heavy thoughts all day long, but I feel light at the core of my being.
I don’t create. My creations will tie me to the earth.
I feel miserable because I don’t create.
2017 passed in a blur. I kept informed. Outrage simmering beneath a sunny, pleasant life. 2018 came and went. I spent the fall back in school. I started therapy in 2019. I learned to view myself from the outside; dislodging myself from absolute attachment to my worldview. It’s 2020 now. It seems impossible. Two decades into a new millennium. The sand draining from the hourglass that is my life is speeding up. I both care and don’t care. I’ve made peace with the low hum of suicidal ideation. The idea of one day becoming ash comforts me. It flared up in January. I would ride the bus and fantasizing about being ash. I didn’t tell anyone. My textbooks tell me to accept the thought – it’s just a thought. But if I tell anyone they would worry. They would be professionally obliged to do something.
I kept floating. I’m still able to feel stressed and anxious when I don’t meet professional obligations. I rage and cry over the unreasonable demands of my very low-stress jobs. I’m ok. It’s ok. I think, one day, maybe soon, I’ll write again. There’s time. So much time.
Hawaii went into lockdown over the corona virus during spring break in mid-March. My school work is now all remote, my counseling internship suspended. The world changed overnight. There will be no graduation, no parties. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my clients or classmates.
I had one overwhelming feeling during all this. It’s going to sound cheesy. For the last three years I’ve felt resigned to live in a world not of my choosing so I didn’t care to try and change it. But shutting down the economy, shutting down pollution, doing all the steps that myself and others in the sustainability field have been yelling into the wind about for over a decade, suddenly allowed me to feel energized again. The world that I desire to see didn’t only feel alive again; it is shimmering right under the surface. It is, finally, possible.
My main thesis for the last 10 years have been climate change is a failure of imagination. Yes, it’s greed and big business, too, but most citizens don’t have the luxury of spending their days imagining a better and more just world. Now we’re forced to. Right now we witness situations, unthinkable 30 days ago, happening almost every single day. Ground air traffic. No hour long commutes by car. Cook almost every meal at home. Universal basic income, money in your bank account, courtesy of a central government, because as a fellow citizen your well-being impacts ours. For-profit healthcare is an actual crime. Essential workers are underpaid and under-appreciated. Everybody, start an urban garden. Food waste is grotesque. Acknowledgment that, as social creatures, isolation is deadly and we need to care about our family, friends, and neighbors.
I named this blog honeythatsok: stories we tell ourselves as a way to analyze my own stories, and share new stories with my readers. I wish it hadn’t taken this long to return to the digital page, and I don’t really know where to go from here. I do know I feel better when and after I write so, for now, I’m here. I hope you are, too.