I am lost, drowning
In a sea of gray morals
Help! I cannot breathe
I don’t know what I am doing. I haven’t known what I’ve been doing for quite some time. It seems that since 2016, at least, I have been swimming in an ocean of uncertainty. Up is down, the sky isn’t quite so blue, and right and wrong are nothing but mazes of gray shadows that no one can navigate properly. I don’t know who I am, I barely know what I stand for, and I feel like nothing more than a broken puzzle of likes, interests, and disdains that don’t necessarily fit together well.
And it all began when my heroes started to fall.
Stars falling nightly
Angels so far from their grace
Heroes lost to all
You could say that 2016 was the year that started the longest reign of shooting stars in modern history; celebrities just keep opening their mouths and falling farther and farther from grace. The more of them that mess up, the more holes that I find in myself.
It sounds silly, I know, to have an identity crisis because a bunch of celebrities decided to expose themselves as assholes. They’re just people, after all—people who have nothing to do with me, really—and people reveal themselves to be assholes all the time. To me, though, these weren’t just any celebrities or any people; these were the people who had helped me to calibrate my moral compass growing up. They taught me what was right and wrong, how to treat people, how to open my heart to others. Aside from my parents, they had the most influence on the person that I had become through the art that they created, be it books, movies, or TV shows. So, to have the likes of Roseanne Barr and J.K. Rowling start saying things that directly contradict the morals that they helped me to create really struck a nerve with me.
Who was I, after all, if the foundation that I had built myself upon was cracking?
The fault in our stars?
I see just fault in myself
My moral black holes
The more holes that I saw in my heroes, the more holes that I saw in myself. I started to question the person that I was if so many of my role models contradicted the very morals that I claimed to get from them—tolerance, acceptance, openness. Could I truly be such an open-minded, tolerant person if my models for these traits turned out to not really have them?
Then my writing came into question. It was just one person telling me that one story was ableist, but it was enough to wedge itself in my emotional armor and crack it like glass. Perhaps if the timing had been different, if I had not already been questioning myself, I would not have been so hard on myself or would not have taken one person’s opinion so seriously, but I did, and that doubt has not fully released its hold on me to this day.
A writer who writes
Without passion, is she
A writer at all?
That doubt has dug itself further into my psyche than I had ever imagined it would. It has caused me to doubt myself as a writer. This doubt has been compounded by a lack of passion for my freelance projects, particularly my ghostwriting, and a lack of time to be able to work on my personal projects. I no longer feel like a writer, just someone who writes. This part of my identity—the biggest part of my identity, arguably—has all but disappeared.
Little by little, though, I am reclaiming this identity. In part thanks to Vocal and the encouragement that I feel to just write on here, no matter what I am writing about, I am learning to be a writer again.
I am learning to be me again.
It’s true, I have failed
But I have succeeded, too
I am but human
I am still searching for who I am, as a writer and as a person. Even at thirty years old, I am sorting through my morals and what matters most to me. Yet isn’t that how life is supposed to be, forever growing, forever becoming the people that we are meant to be? We might lose ourselves along the way, but so long as we eventually find our way back, it’s all part of the journey of being human.
I am a flower
Forever growing, changing—
In eternal bloom