I sometimes struggle to be me, and it’s nobody’s fault but mine (turn it up, it’s Zeppelin).
There’s a darkness to the world that I talk about often. It’s everywhere, has always been and shall always be. We don’t have the monopoly on a time when humans are shitty to each other. We’ve been doing it for millennia. But that makes it no less depressing to live with.
But there’s light out there, too. I find it in the small actions of others as I mentioned before.But I also find it in the arts, more specifically in the skills of others to express themselves. Painters, poets, playwrights, comedians, actors…the list goes on forever.
The problem with this? Sometimes I admire people too much. I see other people’s skills, how they break from mundanity and shine for everyone to see, and I want to do that, too. That leads me along ridiculous paths of collecting skills. People have often asked me what I do in my spare time, and then look agape when I tell them: I write (along with which comes signings and conventions all over the place), I draw, I play guitar, I run games of Dungeons and Dragons, I do leatherwork, I read, I’m a movie lover, but I’m also interested in physics and psychology and history and archaeology and mythology and…bleurgh. Bloody everything.
They look astounded and assume that I’m some kind of savant. I’m really not. I don’t excel at any of these things. Jack of all trades, Master of none. I just get around a bit, that’s all. I see other people’s interests and how bloody amazing they are at them, and I want a piece of their light.
What does that boil down to? I think it’s probably because I don’t feel like I really have something I’m good at. I know artists and authors, archaeologists and leatherworkers. I know people who make and create and are wonderful, colourful people for it. I want to be like that. And so I run around like the goddamn Highlander, collecting skills in a frenzied effort to be relevant. Although I don’t go around smashing warehouse windows, floating with awesome 80’s animated SFX, nor do I have a soundtrack to my life by Queen (unfortunately).
Let’s take it further, since I’m psycho-analysing myself today. I think that struggle to have a way to express myself, to fill my life with skills and knowledge, comes from a single piece of knowledge that I’ve had since I was far too young. This isn’t like having a hamster that dies and learning that occasionally we lose things, since being quite young I’ve known that I am going to die and once I’m gone there’ll be nothing left. That probably led to my curiosity and fascination with the Gothic, the dark and horror. It’s all a study in death (boogedy boogedy, I’m so spooky). What will I leave behind when I take a dirt nap? I have a fear of wasting the brief flicker of time that I have on the planet. It’s not that I want to change the world or anything, I just want to leave something worthwhile behind.
Therefore, henceforth, moreover and furthermore, since I don’t feel like I’m particularly good at anything, it makes me constantly search for other things that might be my grand calling. Which, of course, is a stupid thing to be looking for because I don’t really believe in that kind of thing. I don’t believe in fate or any other kind of deity-based cosmic events planning. Again with the being a walking contradiction (turn it up, it’s Greenday). I annoy myself, I really do.
If we can take all of that complex over-worded shit and bring it back to depression, then it leads to constantly trying to be someone I’m not. I’m always taking on other people’s skills, trying to be good at what I can’t possibly be good at because we can’t be good at everything. And every time I get to be mediocre at something, it proves to my inner self that I am destined to live an indifferent life with average output and barely passable effect on the world around me. This is the kind of shit that the Depression Monster likes to chow down on, so I’m tipped into a state of melancholy once more.
How messed up is that?
The positive thing? I hear that a lot of creative types suffer with the same feelings (I mention this in greater detail in the ebook), leading to alcoholism (Hemingway) and suicide (Plath) in some cases, so at least I’m in good company! Yahoo! Now open the oven and pass me a beer.
Thanks for reading.