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Back Into the Light

What I Learned from a Month of No Writing

By S. A. CrawfordPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
Loifotos via Pexels

Have you missed me? I doubt it - there's always so much going on here, so many interesting stories, poems, and articles. It's so easy to feel like you're lost in a sea of voices, so many of which are much more articulate, elegant, and creative than your own. That's how I felt after writing "Deep Roots". I felt like a small insect, swallowed by a much bigger animal. I had officially reached The Wall. You know which one - the one where you press your face against the bricks and find no gap, no crack to peer through and wonder if you'll ever see the other side. The one where you think your best might never be good enough and its time to just give up. That wall and I are old friends; we know each other well. I used to pushed against it. I used to kick it and scream at it... hell, when I was in my early twenties I was ready to take it down with my teeth.

I'm older and, arguably, wiser now so that wasn't an option. I stepped back and looked 2023 in the eye, hard as it was. It's been a tough year, just as tough the end of 2018 which is saying something because I lost my job, my home, and my nine year relationship then... but I'm not angry about it. I'm not even depressed anymore. You see, the freelancing business I built up, the travelling I did, the nomadic, hand to mouth life I lived between then and now was necessary. It was my wild teens phase; the one I never got to have as a 19 year old in a long-term relationship, studying and working at the same time to help keep a house ticking over.

It was glorious and hellish and it had to end, though I wish I had jumped before I was pushed. I haven't been happy in a long time. I ran from the grief of life not going the way I had planned, turned my back to it and pretended it wasn't there until its shadow got so long and dark that all I could see was a void.

Now, blinking in the hard sunlight, I can see a thousand paths ahead of me. I have no idea which one to take yet (though I'm considering adapting one of my short stories into a novel), but before I get down to the business of choosing I want to sum up everything I've learned so far so that someone else has a chance of avoiding the pitfalls I tumbled into. It's going to be tough, so I might make a separate post but for now, here it is:

What I Wish I Had Known Before I Turned 30

They say that age and experience bring wisdom; I'm not sure I'm any wiser than the average person, but I'm not as naïve as I used to be. Here's what I wish I had known ten years ago:

  • You don't need to be liked by everyone, just the people that matter to you.
  • At the end of the day when you can't sleep, you'll have to answer to yourself before anyone else.
  • Some people won't be for you, and that's fine; it doesn't mean either of you is a bad person, just that you don't mesh well.
  • The grass is greenest where you water it - this is true for everything in life. The relationships and situations you put effort into are most likely to survive.
  • You can't make it work all by yourself - if you're watering the proverbial grass when no one else is, it's not your fault that it's withering.
  • There will be times when your choices are between bad and worse; life can be a real bitch.
  • Wear sun cream everyday, yes even in winter.
  • Talk to people from every walk of life; you can always learn something from them.
  • Teenagers; you are not mature for your age, that adult person expressing romantic interest in you is out of line.
  • People who try to alienate you from older people may not have pure intentions; the only person who benefits from you being cut off from people older and wiser than you is someone you don't want to be around.
  • Love and like are not always mutually inclusive.
  • You can walk away from anyone who's hurting you, it doesn't matter who they are to you.
  • Be slow to hold a grudge, quick to forgive silly mistakes, and hold firm when you recognize the unforgivable; this will improve your quality of life.
  • Learn to say "I didn't think of that", "I don't know", and "I might be wrong" without pride - you'll grow so much faster.
  • Happiness is what happens between the big moments in life; enjoy the sunshine, the quiet, the birdsong, and the wildflowers. They, like happiness, are precious because they are not permanent.

Finally, don't ever think that it's too late to turn around, go back, or change your direction whether in life, love, or your career. The definition of success is not singular.


About the Creator

S. A. Crawford

Writer, reader, life-long student - being brave and finally taking the plunge by publishing some articles and fiction pieces.

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  • Cheyenne DeBorde2 months ago

    Loved all of this. “At the end of the day when you can't sleep, you'll have to answer to yourself before anyone else.” slaps in particular!

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