“You get ready, you get all dressed up to go nowhere in particular. Back to work or the coffee shop, Doesn’t matter cause it’s enough to be young and in love.” —Lana Del Ray
It really is enough to just make you go crazy. A bottle of Velvet Cinn Cruzan Rum, music–courtesy of Lana Del Ray–and midnight thoughts outside on the staircase, watching the dotted, starry sky and partially freezing, but feeling too good to notice will make you pick up your pen–or in my case a laptop–and write. A lot of this will sound similar to pieces I’ve written already.
This past month I reached the height of my emotional roller coaster and just like all plots, after the climax came the descent. After quite the emotional breakdown I’m finally catching myself. And, despite how painful all of this has been, I don’t regret any of it because it’s part of being young and in love. These experiences will all build my character and for that I am grateful.
This isn’t limited to romantic feelings. To be young and in love encompasses all aspects of your life–from your relationships, to work, to even your hobbies.
I fell in love with writing even more than usual. I decided to take my art–writing is indeed an art–seriously and look into self-publishing. My relationship with writing has been rocky for about 8 years or so. I began several works of fiction in high school and the only two I ever finished was a short story for my AP English Course, and a romance novel that I lost. I lost my love for writing at that moment and didn’t begin again until the sophomore year of college. Even then I had a hate/love relationship with the practice.
Now, after years, I finally hit the last chapter of what would be book one of Fantasy series called “A Feral Affair” which you can read in its incomplete form Here. I have already started the second book, and at the same time started another novel. This one is moving a little slower because the setting is in the Virgin Islands, where I live, but I have trouble writing in the dialect and I also need to explore the island more to perfect the description of the island. But more importantly, I want to perfect my art so that when I write, I move those that read it.
“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”—E.L. Doctorow
It doesn’t stop there. This love extended into blogging. I was always fond of sharing my thoughts although I’m often in trouble for it. I began blogging in high school right around the time facebook and, well, social media was taking off. I switched between WordPress and Blogger multiple times and changed my blog names more times than I could count. Like my novels, I stopped when I started to feel like there was no point. I didn’t see an audience. The blogs received very little views and even less feedback.
I began asking myself “What’s the point of writing if no one is going to read it?” Then that turned into anger and I began to detest my friends and others. I kept seeing “Support your own,” but it was reserved for musicians and models. Writers did not receive any support. After some time I had to remind myself, I wasn’t writing this for them, I was writing for me. I had to love my work first before anyone else did. I soon learned that there were people reading what I wrote. I inspired others. Hell, I started to inspire myself.
“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”—Benjamin Franklin
I rarely speak of my employment. Not because I’m under some gag order, but because I just never know what to say. I love my job. Rather, I love my career. Though I’d be remiss to say it’s all peaches and cream. Like anything you love, it’s bound to break you at times. I began journalism in high school. I switched my major in college from Psychology–I wanted to be a sex and relationship therapist–and took up Mass Communications following a recommendation from several of my teachers. It was either Communications or English as I was told that writing was my forte. My passion, however, was to inform and tell the stories of others and so I decided on Communications.
I then began writing for the University of the Virgin Islands’ newspaper called “The UVI Voice.” Following that, I began to freelance for the local online Newspaper “The VI Source.” I then interned with one of our local news stations “CBS TV 2.” I was asked by one of my supervisors to try a night shift at another local newspapers “The St. Croix Avis,” which I refused. At the time, I was afraid of journalism honestly. That wasn’t what I told them, but fear is what kept me from pursuing it. During my final year, I was published in the Virgin Islands Daily News for my piece The downside of graduation. Eventually, I plan to look into information technology and see what more I can learn about the comm aspects that aren’t just media related.
One month after graduating from the University of the Virgin Islands I was sought out by the major publications and ultimately chose the Avis. In essence, I did it the “ideal,” way and right after college was working in my field, something most people fear won’t happen. Oddly enough, that petrified me. I began to panic. I was consumed with self-doubt. It seemed too good to be true. I made a million mistakes after that, and honestly, I’m still making them. But I’ve grown. The fear has subsided and I’m learning to be more confident because I love what I do and it shows.
And, of course, we get into romance. I was caught in a web with someone for four years. At some point, we stopped being in love and just became habits…bad habits for each other. He was my escape–where I went when I wanted to feel loved. When I wanted someone to tell me “you’re doing a good job,” or “you’re worth it,” that’s where I went. Hell, if I wanted to hear “I love you,” he would always say it.
But, I wasn’t his significant other. I was suppose to be his best friend. At the moment, I couldn’t be his best friend. I had already experienced being in love with him. That role reversal was too much. It took a slap from reality–it was more like a Sweet Chin Music (google it)–to get me together. I couldn’t move on to find another love, and quite frankly I’m not interested in another love. There are nights when I give in to that feeling and think maybe I want someone, but then I remind myself that I have to take time to learn to love myself. I had to find myself. In the midst of everything that was happening I was lost.
Actually, I didn’t know who I was. I only knew how to be what was expected of me, how to play a role that I gave myself to appease the people around me. To say you knew me was a lie. I didn’t even know me so how could you? A false representation of a person made in the likeness of whomever I was near at the time. Thoughts, feelings, all a sham. A people-pleaser down to a T. But not anymore.
Fast forward to 2019 and a lot happened. I went through ups and downs too numerous to mention. I began looking for outlets to find a purpose for myself. I needed something but I couldn’t figure out. I left for the military, hoping that removing myself from home would spark something–anything. What? I don’t know. I still don’t know. I just never felt like what I was doing enough. I was growing tired of my job again. I grew tired of my photography that I had picked up. Although I was told I was good, I still didn’t see the support I thought I could get. I didn’t have enough. God damn time. I felt like I was losing it. There weren’t enough hours in the day. I was straining myself at work. I felt like a shit mother. I was falling back into bad habits. I was depressed and worse, I was angry.
Despite what many people thought I made it through basic military training and I’m almost done with technical training school. I chose a job that I could take with me back into the civilian world. I’m hoping to use it when I return home. In this time, I also got married which has been the most shocking part of everything. I never saw it coming. Although I always wanted to be a wife, I never thought someone would actually choose me and in a very short amount of time. No one has to say it, I can read the hidden jabs in their messages about. That it was for “benefits,” although neither of us have anything to gain from this marriage except each other. But I don’t need to explain that. In fact, it would make more sense to me if it were something like that. As I wrestle with my self-worth, I keep wondering why me? But, that as aside, much to my astonishment, I’m happy.
I started to pick back up my writing, my photography, I even started reading again. I plan out my moves for when I go back home–how I plan to spend more time with my minion and be a much better mother than I was before. Spend more time with family altogether as I learned how much I missed them and the few true friends that I have. I lost the want for support because everything I do is more for myself than anything else and to see the end result come to fruition whether anyone is looking or clapping.
It all feels good honestly, and I’m just ready to live out my life in this new found happiness.
“I used to think the worst feeling in the world is losing someone you love. But I was wrong the worst feeling in the world is the moment that you realize you’ve lost yourself.”