Conspicuous playlists and things I shouldn’t see

When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time thinking about wishes. Like the working class youngun I was, I fantasised about what I would do if I won the lottery, and I also whiled away hours constructing the perfect wishes that, should they come true, would fulfill all my heart’s desires.

I’m a lot more suspicious of the concept of wishes these days. I’m too acquainted with complexity to want to risk taking such responsibility for my life. There are many things that I want, that I believe would give me the life of my dreams, but I know I don’t know the full ramifications of them manifesting in my life. So I prefer to keep things vague. Focus on who I want to be, and how I want to feel, and let life fill in the blanks. It’s not that I won’t pursue what I desire, but if somebody was to give me the power to click my fingers, I’m not sure I would take it. I still find myself pondering what I would do if granted a wish, but it’s more out of trepidation – I do not want to be tricked by a wily jinn.

I happened upon one of those pretty social media quotes that people like to post the other day. Something about being tired of being strong, and wanting to just have what you wanted. I don’t recall exactly. And I can sympathise with that. But I read it and I thought nah, I’m not tired of being strong. It kind of surprised me, to be honest. There are significant parts of my daily existence that you’d think I’d be over by now, yet it turns out I’m happy to keep grinding away with them if they’re making me better.

But the Universe has been playing a little game with me recently. Bizarre synchronicities compounding to propel me down a path and make the past feel altogether more present. It has been raising infuriating questions that I have no way of answering for myself. And it reminded me, there is still one area where I’m tired of being strong. Still one area where it strains me to bear the burden of not having what I want. And that strain has made me strong; incredibly capable of bearing other burdens and barely even noticing. But I am tired. And I would like to have what I want now. I have one wish.

Answers.

I don’t want to intepret the symbols anymore, I just want you to speak to me.

The call

I’ve been writing a story since I was sixteen. It started out as one thing and evolved into many other things. The world unfolded itself to me; the characters revealed their intentions; their actions shocked, disappointed and delighted me. The story has taken up space in me this whole time, existed within me, in some sense complete and yet still unrealised. I’ve been scared to look at it, honestly, because I felt incapable of finishing it. I expected it to leave me at some point, and find a home somewhere else. But I’m starting to believe only I can tell this story, and that’s why it’s still here, waiting for me to breathe more life into it.

I took the plunge and looked at it today. And then I spent the entire day engulfed in this world that revealed itself to me, over years, bit by bit, word by word. And I realised I’m already at least sixty thousand words deep, though not even close to the end of the story. It’s probably more like eighty thousand. Hand-fucking-written. And I’m invested in these people living in my story. I know them. And I want to see how it all turns out. And it’s not enough to think about it. I have to write it.

I typed up about five thousand words today, and edited the existing twenty. And I’ve read through everything I’ve written, and thrilled myself at what exists there. It’s getting late, but I’d like to keep going.

The idea of spending ten hour days immersed in this world of my creating is really fucking nice. I don’t think there are many other things I’d like to spend ten hours doing. I’ve been flip-flopping incessantly for the past couple of months, trying to decide what to do with myself, unable to commit to the fact that what I really want to do is fucking write all day. Because it sounds too fucking nice. I have a huge problem with even the idea of permitting myself such an indulgent career. So I’ve been faffing around trying to find a compromise-job that I can bear the thought of for even the short-term. It’s not even about whether it’s ‘realistic’ to make a living as a writer. Whether I’m good enough. Whether I could do it. For some reason I’ve made it about whether it’s moral. Because I’d be having too nice a time. Who the fuck am I to enjoy my fucking life?

What the fuck is wrong with me?

I probably could have written it by now if I’d stopped fucking about.

Retrieve the fucks

Someone keeps stealing my fucks.

I had a nice week of writing and running the week before last. And all those steps and all those words were pulling my life into order. And all that directed effort was coalescing into a sense of purpose. I was sleeping better, I was eating better, I was doing better. Instead of just bobbing around in a haze of complacent contentment, which belied the undercurrent of anxiety that told me I couldn’t stay there forever, I was proactively steering my ship toward faster waters and clearer skies.

And then my ship was broadsided. The impact was jarring and scary, not least because it was so naively unanticipated. And while the crew in my head took up their action stations, the vessel itself spun soundlessly back into the safety of the quiet haze.

Apparently, liking metaphors as much as I do is a sign of trauma. So that checks out.

I tried to keep writing and running. But it was taking more effort, and creating more pain. My life had been pulled back out of order, by something I couldn’t control, and writing and running were small by comparison. I am a writer, so I kept on writing. But I’m not a runner, so I stopped running. The fucks I’d given to running, I relinquished to my attacker instead.

What a fucking stupid mistake. Claim the fucking fucks back, Yve. They are your fucks to give. Don’t let that fucking fucker steal your fucking fucks! Fucking not again. Fucking never again. Fucking no.

Okay. Okay. Let’s get them back.

Ctrl, Alt…

I’ve always quite liked the idea of being in prison.

I’ve never particularly been a fan of the things I’d have to do to end up in prison. And, I’ll be honest, committing the crimes is probably less offputting to me than being judged to have committed crimes. But the simple, structured, externally-imposed aceticism of prison is a soothing concept. If I imagine existing in a world of white breeze block walls, smooth hard surfaces, rigid routines and basic expectations, ah, that feels nice. I know rationally that the experience of prison cannot be described that way, but still, nice.

It’s probably because my inner world is impossibly convoluted, and navigating its labyrinth can be so exhausting that I often don’t care for the mundane complexities of everyday modern life. That’s probably why. I’d also find it quite helpful to have someone tell me when to eat. And what. And where.

Sometimes I wish I could simply delete all the clutter from my life. Make everything but the bare necessities vanish. Take away the luxuries. Take away the choices. Take it all away.

Occasionally I do delete the clutter – carpet bomb any and all offending areas of my life and start over. The problem with that is, while it gets rid of one kind of mess, it tends to leave another. Because in real life, everything is connected to everything else. There are never the clean edges between deleted and non-deleted that I hope to find. In real life, the best you can hope for is partial deletion. Which is dissatisfying.

But it’s often a blessing.