Maybe It Was Me

Please

My darling

You’ve done nothing wrong

Stop picking at your wounds

Stop telling yourself

That everything

Was your fault.

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Maybe

When it comes to you

My mouth is filled with so many maybes

And I am tired of trying

To piece things together

When I have so many missing shapes

And colors

No one should ever have to wonder

If someone ever really cared

But here I am

Left to draw conclusions

With no real answers

If you love someone

Spell it out for them

I cannot interpret you

The way I can interpret my dreams

There is no guidebook

No wise woman on a hill

Who will help me to understand you

All I have

Are the stories I tell myself

And the whispery hope

That everything I did

Wasn’t a huge mistake.

There are questions

Swirling in my mind

Moments

Where I feel fine

Moments

Where I feel wounded again

And the only thing I have

To say to myself in those moments

Is a whole lot of “maybe”

Old Dreams

Dust off your old dreams

Take them for a spin

See if you have anything

In common with them again

Turn to your former self

Say, “It is a pleasure to meet you.

I cannot tell you how much

You will grow

And how much you will get through.”

And maybe you will see

How much you have changed

Maybe you will see

How much you have stayed the same

Maybe you will see the ways

Your dreams have been twisted and rearranged

Dust off the past

Then leave it behind you

Your future is bright.

Where your old and new dreams meet

Where you belong comes alive

And that is what guides you.

My Artist Dilemma

I have a true love/hate relationship with my creative inclinations. I have always always always enjoyed writing, art, music, and eventually acting and at this point even dancing. Anything creative I let it consume me and it made me feel alive. For much of my life being an artist, writer or what have you was a huge part of my life and over time my identity. I especially identify with being a writer because I feel it is something that has truly shaped me as a person. It is not just something I do sometimes, it is a part of who I am.

The thing about art as an activity is that as a profession, it is so different. It is (or it can become) so much about sales, popularity, fame, and followers. From an early age I enjoyed connecting with people through art. I found it hard to make friends in my youth, so showing someone a painting or a drawing I made, or performing a song or a monologue, that was a BEAUTIFUL way to experience authentic human connection.

I am older now. Interestingly enough, I have developed different social skills in my adulthood (gods, I cannot believe I used the word “adulthood”), and so I no longer need to rely on art to connect. I can have conversations and get to know individuals deeply. I can choose my friends. I can invest my time into good people and build meaningful relationships over time.

But that desire to connect through art? It never really went away. I did the whole broke writer thing. I got published in magazines and self-published my writing and art. I read poems aloud at open mics and events. Art as a business takes a special level of tenacity. It requires a passion not only for making things, but for SELLING those things. Even sending a query to a magazine is a form of sales.

I am not saying that one should not try to get published. It is a worthy goal and connecting with others in this way can be meaningful, not to mention fun! But it can come with negative concepts that I just cannot get behind at this point. Why do I need an editor to tell me if my work is good enough? Why do I need others to approve of anything I create at all? It defeats the whole purpose of writing for me.

Writing is communication. Writing is freedom. There are enough areas in life in which I will be criticized and told I need to do things in a certain way. But writing? No honey. That is my safe space. That is my freedom. That is my space to do shit my way. Getting published can feel glamourous, but no piece of writing stays current forever. Fame on any level ebbs and flows like the tide.

So where does this leave me? It is a question I have been toying with and feel I will never have an answer. I also feel no one I talk to, be it family, friends, astrologers (yes this one happened once lol), or a therapist, no one seems to get the way this nags at me. The U.S is a career-oriented culture, ya know? The first thing anyone ever asks you is, “What do you do?” Writing as a career is appealing in theory, but the reality of such a path is not really appealing. I cannot aspire to write a successful book without some level of fame having to go with that. (I am defining success as reaching as many readers as possible. At least a few thousand to quantify it. Why is that how I define success? Probably because every writer I admire is a best seller lol). I don’t care about fame. But pursuing a writing career can lead to a pursuit of fame in itself, and that, for me personally, is a sad pursuit.

But it is a double-edged sword. Because what is writing without readers? How many readers does it take for me to feel like my work can be taken seriously? This is when I realize my work is validated because I decide it is. Not because I have one reader or one million. But because my work is valid simply by existing.

Anyway, do you see my dilemma?

So here is the thing. If I pursue writing as a career, then in our capitalist society that means I need to be selling my writing as a good or service. It can also mean volunteering my writing in some way I suppose.

If I don’t pursue writing as a career, then it is a hobby. Let me tell you, I used to scoff at this word. I was passionate about this! Way too passionate for it to be a mere “hobby.” I still don’t totally feel comfortable with viewing it through that lens.

Then there is the middle ground as simply viewing it as work. My work. Something I get to decide. It doesn’t have to lead to money or fame for it to matter. And in a small way, I suppose that is my answer.

Still, I struggle. I have this blog, which I am glad to have maintained for about four years now. I have connected with some lovely people on here. And I have seen some lovely content by others. I like sharing stuff online because it is a connection that brings some level of instant gratification. Being published online also gave me that similar immediate connection.

I am all about that instant gratification. It can be nice to attend open mics, though they are not always easy to find.

Self-publishing my books was nice, but it did not provide that direct communication that I like. I know there are people who read my books and it had a positive impact. But I rarely know who read my books unless they told me. It is nice when I know there are a few copies of my books floating around out there. But it certainly isn’t the same as performing or even sharing a post online.

But I am also in a different stage of my life. Finding chances to perform or share art are few and far between. And I have other things taking up my time, like my current career path and my desire for stability.

I was always a bit resistant to growing up, to things changing. But the truth is, I have changed a lot in the past few years in wonderful ways. I have grown. My goals have evolved. I no longer think it is a shame to let go of art as a career. Because the truth is, I don’t think that path fulfills all my needs, not really, not for what it really requires of a person.

I don’t want to be one of those people who chases followers.

And maybe there is nothing wrong with having a hobby.

Where do I Go?

Where do I go from here?

I believed your words

And I believed your actions

They blur together

In a swirl of

I miss you

In a mess of

I need you

In a need to

Hate you

Only, I could never hate you

.

Except in maybe that sliver of a moment

Where the only deity I believed in

Was the one responsible for your apathy

.

Oh honey, you don’t know desperate

Until you are praying for words from another’s mouth

Until you are praying for a sliver of affection

From the person your heart latched onto

.

Not anticipating

Not wanting to accept

How brutal it might feel

To get left behind

.

Where do I go?

Every you that follows

Looks the same going forward

Like mirrors facing each other

And creating a never ending spiral

Of sameness

.

I will love

And I will get left

The belief sinks in my belly

Like a pill

I never consented to swallow

.

And we pass this medicine around

Every time we love again

Every time we do the leaving

Before we can get left again

.

And we dive like hell

Into that bitter calm

Before the next relationship storm

Wondering

Where do I go?

.

Desperate for a heart to beat with ours

But wanting to risk none of the pain

We are love addicts

Who are afraid of the side-effects

So we replace one addiction with another

.

We replace love

With the idea of love

With the statue of the deity

Who was responsible for your apathy

.

A cold outer shell

To protect the warm affection

That you wouldn’t let fall

A victim to the addiction

.

It is so much easier to stay hooked on the chase

To run in circles

Than to ever risk falling again

But it was never the falling you feared, was it?

No.

.

The scary part was never being caught

The scary part was being caught

And then dropped

Like a ragdoll

.

Being left alone and hurting

Broken and wondering

Where do I go?