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Lane The Writer

A story of me

By Lane BurnsPublished 3 months ago 8 min read
Lane The Writer
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

What is identity? Typically when we ask this question, people throw out words that point towards this unique sense of being. And we end up with this idea of a specialized unique string of words and thoughts that make us who we are. In essences, it is a fact of being. And that's just at the basic level of the individual. Each person has their own individual identity, but we also become a collection of group identities and perceived identity. So when I am asked the question of identity, and to think of a particular moment where I have grappled with who I am. I generally cannot think of one individual time. As it seems that each year offers a new set of challenges and situations that have me redefining who I am in the world and how the world comes to see me. It becomes this ever changing factor of life, that I don't think can really be pinned down. Now, I have been known to be a anxty individual, whose always questioning the boundries of society and of myself. So this could be an inherent bias I have. But, even at the ripe young age of 26, I find myself once again in an internal battle of the day old question, who am I?

When I first saw this challenge on Vocal, I thought this would be an easy one to write. And that's pretty bold coming from a newbie. Sure I have always written, and I have a lot of academic credit with my undergrad being in English. Lane the writer... is almost a given when people think about me. Especially since I always have a notebook and pen on me. But there is a certain level of vunrability when it comes to writting for entertainment and for the public. And as much as I would love to be the special 2%, I am also rather realistic if not a pure pessmestic of my changes of ever really making it big. But I keep coming back to it. Time and time again. It is perhaps the one key point in who I am that I possibly won't ever shake. That being said, for a soild six months this year, I gave up. The voices in my head where too much and I decided that no, I was not a writer. Never truly was and never would be one. Now this may seem relitivly small to most people, but I am getting ahead of myself in this reflection. So let's take a step back to my school days and why the last six months I became a stranger to myself.

Though I did not grow up as an only child, I felt as though I was the only child who could excel at school. Since my sister was special needs, couldn't walk or talk. There were many limits to what she could do. And naturally, I was really good at school. I naturally gravitated towards books and solitude. And my family support this a lot. Outside of academics, the only other hobbies I had were dancing, and living in my own worlds of make believe. I lived for stories and storytelling. And I sure went through all the phases of it. Including flick the lights off in the bathroom after telling my school mates about Bloody Mary. My family always noted that if anyone of us was to write a novel, it would be me. And these types of comments made me feel special. Here was something I had that was mine. All of them agreed that they had no idea where I got my writing from, and that I was good. And I hyped myself up a lot too. I fostered into this idea so much, that not only did my grades need to be in the top percentile, I absolutely needed the best grade in English class. After all that was my thing. Lane the writer. I am Lane the writer.

Of course high school is the classic time these perceptions of ourselves change. My years were no exception to this. however, being surrounded by terrible accidents, death, constant lockdowns and the looming threat of forever 15, I found that I for the most part could stay within this bubble that I would be the next big thing. My introduction to the works of Emily Dickenson and Sylvia Plath only seemed to confirm a lot of my own thoughts. Enough so that I still write in a style I created based off of Dickenson, with my own flair of course. And I had a lovely high school teacher that recommended books for me to read, every time I requested something new. Maybe he knew more than I thought, about my need to escape into stories. But I was 17 and I thought I was really good at masking my pain. Realistically, it was university that reallt beefed me up into thinking I was special.

And I mean who isn't special in university. You get to cater your learning and degree to yourself and it becomes easy to get straight As. And I was one of them. I connected with a number of my teachers, could hold my own in intense conversations of analyzing, and constantly was seen as a force. Numerous of classmates use o regard me as one of the English giants. After publishing a poem in the school magizine, I was on cloud nine. I was in this world where I could write about the darker topics, I could be a pessmistic and a nihlisit and I was special. Even though I probably sounded like every other English nerd in university. But I still felt amazing, and that spread to my second degree in history and my minor in relgious studies. My pride was puffed up by people asking me about masters and encouraging me to keep going. And had it not been the lack of money..... I think I would still be living in that cloud. But that was me, it was who I was. But now I wasn't just Lane the writer... I was Lane the speaker, the unique thinker, and a thousand other things. Even in the beginning of a global pandemic, I graduated and felt on top. Even with all the struggle, the mental health issues. I knew that one day, one day I was going to write a book. Because, that is what I was born to do.

Three years later.... the pandemic is 'over', life is turning back to 'normal' and well I crashed many times. On April 26th 2023, I told myself I was not a good writer. This was never going to be something that made me money. I didn't give myself time to practice, to write. It was like a switch was turned. I was on this quest to heal my inner child and let go of the past, and I came across this thought that no Lane was not a writer. I don't think I ever really cried over it. But I dropped so many things because of it. I stopped doing my make up, dressing preppy and fancy, I stopped caring if I spelt something wrong. I stopped caring about punctuation, run on sentences and how things flowed. When I wrote I sat down and pounded something out, with a faded hope that something would come of it. I stopped reading. And I forced myself to quit living in these stories I was making in my head. I dropped my fanfiction characters and drilled myself at work. And it killed me. I don't think I will ever be the same. I gave up a huge avenue of release and joy. Over a moment of doubt and because I no longer felt special anymore. I was normal and average.

Depression is truly a beast with multiple heads. A hydra. You think you've managed to cut off one head, but two more grow back in it's place. I was consumed by the different voices in my head. And in a way, I was still telling myself stories, they were just tragedies. I was a failure. I convinced myself I had failed ever mentor and teacher I had ever had. convinced myself that if my parents knew how bad my credit was beyoud my student loan. If they only all knew how bad I was. Then everyone would probably hate me too. I was infected, worst than normal and average. How did I ever convince myself I could write anything of worth.

I don't know what jumped me out of it. The poetic side of me will blame the multiple dreams I had where my high school English teacher showed up. Some subconscious flip of the switch.

It seems superficial now. Now that I look at myself and know that I can keep on writing. For me. That Lane is still a writer. But that piece if this grand identity is grey. It is haunted by this time of deep depression, careless decisions, and reckless behavior. It is impacted by a lack of food, of care, over spending and racking up debt from depression buying. And as Canada is hanging over the edge of a recession, I don't know if I will recover from this one. Not fully. But I think about it, and I think about all the other times I slapped a band aid on a problem and 'moved on'. And now, my identity is changing. And I don't know fully who I am and who I can be. All I know is I'm healing.. I'm rediscovering... and no matter what I am Lane the Writer.


About the Creator

Lane Burns

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’m still just finding my voice and coming to believe that I can do this again. I like writing poetry and darker fiction. As well as some fan fictions!

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (1)

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  • Addison M3 months ago

    This was very relatable and strikes me as a incredibly genuine experience. Identity is a struggle always, lately it seems more than ever. Well wrote and the last couple of lines really bring it home. Glad you know that part of you. It's powerful and I hope you continue to feed that element and keep writing.

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