I’m not okay. I’m stuck in a bind. It’s not as easy as it used to be waking up at 6am. I used to rocket out of bed, creativity flooding out of my hands. I was eager to tap, tap, tap my story onto this screen, fueled by the awe of doing my dream. Of actually doing it. To write what I wanted. To become a novelist.
Lungs, it was so hard trying to leave that job. I was terrified of disappointing Daddy and Ma. I was scared of others thinking, “She’s fucking dumb”. But I hated those elevator rides to the fifth floor. How all the air right-out and left both your sides sore. Years of precious oxygen wasted in a space that wasted us. I was conforming to society’s rules. Deforming, but acting cool. Brain fried. Soul dried. And terrified of never giving my dream a try.
Poor Lungs, you were g-gasping and squeezing far past fatigue while I kept climbing that ladder aiming straight for the peak. Two years gone. Three. Then, four. But I wanted more. More than clock out, days over, go eat, sleep, and start over. More than automatic, robotic, staying stuck in this static shit. More than making money to make money, keep climbing this ladder biz. More than trying to make Daddy and Ma happy when I wasn’t a bit.
Lungs, I was great at pretending. Pre tending to everyone else’s needs. Post tending to my own. But you were kept choking on that stale office air. The bones that framed you couldn’t diaphragm you. I needed to air you out. I needed to get the hell out. “Enough! Enough! Fucking do this! You got it!” This ladder biz wasn’t working. I needed to get off it. Get the hell out this office. Inhale— Exhale—Elevator ride to the first floor for the last time.
But Lungs, I still go through waves of isolation that manifest into fists. Squeezing my throat in its titanium grip. Two years since I quit and I’m still living at home. Surfing the web, Instagramming and Pinning motivational quotes. I’m guzzling down coffee and pacing the floor. In a home full of people, I feel more alone. Still I keep writing and erasing. I’m trying to put life in the words that I type. I’m exhausted. Embarrassed. And honestly, I didn’t think it would be like this.
Lungs, I double exercise to exhaust the anxiety. And I can’t shake this feeling that something is chasing me. But you keep pumping air through all my organs. This dream-doing biz is more than I bargained. The novelty’s worn off. The novel’s wore on me. And I can’t stop wondering what others think. If Daddy and Ma also think their daughter is dumb? If lies keep slipping off my close friend’s tongues?
But Lungs, I’ve come to understand that my biggest problem is in my head. I’ve been giving my mind too much authority. Letting it egg on my insecurities. Whispering, whispering till my ears are all full. Earful. Fearful. Unwarranted encores. It would have been less scary to stay on the ladder. Easy to keep my dream on the latter. But less scary plus easy doesn’t equal to happy.
Thanks Lungs, you beautiful pair of machinery, for not leaving my sides. You remind me I’m okay, that I’m not stuck in a bind. That I’m doing what others dream of doing all of their lives until they’re dying and regretting never really living their life. And when my mind fucks with me, I’m learning to shut it. I’m learning to not give a shit who’s judging. I want to be a novelist more than anything else. I want my books to line shelf after shelf. I want to do what is best for me.
So Lungs, we’ve got a hell lot of work to do. I’m still whole in. Whole Lungs in.