Rumination 20: Nature of a Creator

Writers are attention whores. Like artists, actors, entertainers, and anyone else who feels the need to produce entertainment; we thrive on the praise given to our work and die by its criticisms. It’s hard to separate ourselves from something that holds so much of our soul.

A writer can never hold on to their emotions. They spill into the words we write because it’s the only place we’ve given ourselves permission to be honest. If we stymie the wellspring of truth our craft suffers. We lose focus, motivation, and drive. But it’s not enough to write the words or paint the picture: people should see it.

Honesty on the page can cause rifts in our personal relationships; we’re honest less often. It might lead to confrontation and wouldn’t that be the worst thing in the world?

In our imagined worlds we get to invent both sides of the conflict. Reality doesn’t give us the luxury of choosing the “right” side of the story, nor does it let us write our way out of mistakes. It doesn’t foreshadow when someone is a roadblock on your journey and it doesn’t let you chapter break into a better physical and mental state.

We write out of a compulsion to fix what the world won’t let us. We want people to see how it has been made better. We need them to acknowledge this thing that we have built. Our attempt at immortality.

AJ Sandhu
June 2018

 

Rumination 19: I Am Not Okay

The worst part of anxiety is confirmation bias. Thoughts like: “You’re a burden,” “No one likes you,” “You’re only included out of pity,” “If they could they would cut ties with you completely,” would be easy to squash if they weren’t seemingly confirmed by the people they’re about.
More than likely, it’s just me reading too much into things that can be explained simply. Being alone makes time seem longer and shorter than it is. Unfortunately, I can’t convince my brain of that.
I don’t like talking about my problems all of the time. It makes me feel like I’m expecting pity or help, but I’m not, I just want a sympathetic ear. I hate being so unsure that it cripples me. That I’m a burden on anyone that I care about. I hate feeling unwanted, that I’m being put up with, that in reality things would be better without me there. They usually are.
I’m standing in place and not for lack of trying, but because sheer force of will can only take you so far. I still keep pretending I have the talent to break through the brick wall I’m behind. I know that if I don’t have faith no one else will. No one will be giving me reassurances for the existence of whatever abilities I imagine I have. If I could write, if I could create art, if anything I did was any good at all, I wouldn’t still be here after all of these years.
I’m only good when my name isn’t on it.
I wish the confirmation bias wasn’t there. But it is. The worst part is that I’m going to post this and receive hollow kindnesses for a temporary high. None of the people I feel closest to will read this simply because they don’t have the time and if they do it’ll just combine with all of the other issues they have with me.
I’m a temporary friend, only worth having around in a place, but not worth investing the effort. I keep muscling my way into places I don’t belong with people who don’t want me there. I feel like I’m keeping the ones that do want me around from being with the people that would make them happiest. That I’m an unwanted add-on.
My notifications are filled with people trying to impress the friends I’ve been lucky to make because I’m not interesting enough to stand on my own.
I keep saying “scream into the void until you hear something back,” but it feels like I’m in an empty warehouse and the sounds I hear are only my own echoes.
At home I get to deal my family. My mother does the best she can, more so over the last few years, because she sees what not writing does to me. My siblings just don’t seem to have the time for me. My father has never supported anything I’ve done; his constant rhetoric is that it’s simply not my destiny. People like me are meant to marry and have children, that’s the only currency I’m to leave behind. I wasn’t born for greatness. Any little thing I try to do to prove him wrong falls apart and I get slapped back down into my place. Reminded that he’s right. He doesn’t see that he’s being cruel. He sees himself protecting me by reminding me of the harsh realities of the world. All of my failures validate his point.
So spare me your words of encouragement. Spare me your wisdom, because you’re on the mountain looking down.
It hurts to try when you lose every single time.
I wish I could stop.
Have sensible goals that don’t require overwhelming outside support for even an ounce of success.
My talent is a farce and so am I.
But I’m going to keep trying anyway.
Stay good and keep transmitting

-Aman Sandhu 2016

Rumination 18

Perspective is difficult. We’re only ever subject to our own and it makes us the heroes of the narrative. It’s right…to an extent, we are the heroes of our histories.
But perspective also vilifies, makes antagonists of others because their perception is different. Sometimes miscommunication escalates to a boiling point of clashing observations.
I used to go to extreme lengths to try and avoid it, still do, it doesn’t work. It never works. But I’m a stupid optimist and keep trying.
Miscommunication has been pervasive through my life. It’s been the driving force behind every negative thing I’ve ever had to deal with. It seems like something so easily avoided, but it’s not. Any attempts at opening dialogue go horribly awry.
I agree I’m abrasive, I’m not personable, I don’t try hard enough when I should. I’m a terrible friend and not nearly as put together as I would like to be. No defense of this list will follow, because there is none. I ask too much and give too little. I’m far too proud of abilities I don’t have, but without the confidence I’m nothing.
I’m not confident on the inside though. I need reassurance. I’m not always right, usually I’m wrong. I make things about me when they aren’t because I’m afraid no one will tell me when they are. They never do.
The last six or seven months have so thoroughly destroyed any confidence and positivity I worked so hard to gain after years in the pit of depression, I’m not sure how I’m keep trying again.
It is, arguably, the simpler thing to walk away.
And I am walking away, because I’m tired. I could keep pushing into a void that didn’t give, but I can’t keep surrendering more than I have. I want this to be the end of it; this isn’t who I am. I refuse to be it anymore.
Stay good and keep transmitting.
-Aman Sandhu 2016

Rumination 17

I’m always scared someone is playing the long con with me. It’s the strangest sort of paranoia that keeps me guarded. To soften the hurt to heart on my sleeve, I keep something up it.
I always debate putting up more private thoughts. Maybe because my face is attached like never before. Maybe it’s more of that avoidance. The fear if I give too much I won’t have any left for myself?
But that’s not the truth.
The truth is that I don’t think I deserve this. That I deserve any of what I have. If I get anything it has to come with a catch. It always does.
Doesn’t matter how hard I work, there is always a catch.
And it’s such a stupid way to live, yet here I am. I know better.
I don’t know if that’s stupid or brave to admit to an audience. But I refuse to isolate myself to the point of inaction.
This isn’t a plea for advice or a call for friendship. I have more love than I’ve ever have before. I can feel that. I’m just…waiting for the other shoe to drop.
That I’m going to be exposed as the fraud I am. Unworthy of love, not just because I have nothing to offer, but because I’m really not that good of a friend. I’m not extraordinary, I’m not even plain, I’m background. I get in the way.
And maybe getting these thoughts out of my head and into these pixels will help me deal with the dissociation I feel.
Stay good and keep transmitting.
-Aman Sandhu 2016

Rumination 16

My friends cannot read my mind. They don’t know everything I know.
I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking they’ve absorbed my knowledge or emotion via some strange external osmosis, but they haven’t. If I’m having a bad day and put on a brave face, they will never know I need to be comforted. They won’t know not to believe me when I lie and say everything is alright.
Sometimes I think they wouldn’t want to be bothered. Why talk to them about something they can’t fix, or wouldn’t understand? But who will I celebrate with when I come out victorious on the other side? How will I convey the devastation of my defeat as I sit there and lick my wounds?
We make friends to share the load. To carry our collective burdens so they don’t break our backs. Your friends will not be weighed down by your problems. They will not leave because you are struggling. If they cannot help they will wait patiently for you to get through; ready with whatever support you need in the aftermath.
And if they do abandon you, were they really your friends at all?
Stay good and keep transmitting.
-AJ Sandhu 2016