Do you ever look at your life and wonder what the hell you're doing? Wonder what's going to happen if you don't stop reaching for a dream that seems so far out of reach and so destructive that it should be lost?
My whole life I wanted to write. I've told myself stories since I was a child, first acting them out with my Barbies and then writing them down when I learned how to form the pictures in my head into words. I've written something nearly every day of my life. Stories, journals, articles, books, scripts, notes, emails, texts. It's all words. But shouldn't there be more to a life than a series of ink spots on a page?
All those words. The hours it took to move them from inside my soul to the paper and then to the digital world. What else might I have done with those hours? How might I have better spent that time? What do I have to show for it now?
Reams of paper containing stories no one wants to read. An empty room where I hide from the world because I can't face being the failure I've become. No one to hold me close and tell me I'm their one because I shove people away, afraid they'll see my failure and believe I'm not worth their time.
Digital files full of more words I've never even bothered to print out because why should I waste money I don't have on them?
Handwritten notebooks full of notes and transferred words. Projects begun, stories to be told but never finished. I have boxes of these things. And what value are they? They're fire traps waiting for the errant spark to send them up and take those words somewhere to release them. Maybe if I let them go, someone else can use them and they will be of value rather than the horrible, dead things they've become on those pages.
I'm surrounded by words and yet there are days when I speak aloud only those words my dogs need to hear in order for them to go outside. Days when the only words I have are shoved onto a screen so I don't scream them aloud. Words that should be my salvation have become my damnation and I don't know how to escape the walls they've built.
What if it is my journey to have these words. To collect them. To keep them together and yet never to see them enjoyed by others? How dreadful would that be? To know that the words that comforted me as a child would be only bars to the cell I live in as an adult?
Perhaps this is all there is. A pile of words with no other purpose than to be strung together into something I believed was good when they crowded at the tips of my fingers only to learn later they were muddy and dead before the letters appeared on the screen. And if this is it, is it enough? It is enough to know what I've done and finally let go? Go out and find another soul-sucking job that pays the bills and destroys my heart each and every minute?
I don't know. The only thing I really do know is that the words are still with me. They still jerk me from my dreams, invading them when I refuse to wake. They drag me out of the darkness and close the blinds when the sun is too bright. They lift my soul and cushion its fall each time I end a page.
Words are my blood, my sweat, and my tears. They are my reason to be here.