There was a bunch of you who reached out to me personally after my last post, and I just want to put it out here that I am deeply appreciative and grateful for your presence in my life. You have strengthened my conviction that writing publicly about my own darkness is not only cathartic but incredibly healing and healthy. These days I keep an mental image in my mind, that shadows are the darkest when light is at its brightest. The universe has gifted us great metaphors and lessons all around us, but we just don’t have the capacity to observe them.
If I haven’t responded, it is not because I don’t care, but I need all the emotional bandwidth I can muster right now for myself. I will respond eventually, because I want to learn to be more present with people.
I used to write more like this, where I don’t have a particular topic or agenda, but just free-flowing words that exposed my stream of consciousness. Then, people started telling me that in order to be a “good writer”, I should be more concise and structured. You know, like Hemingway. I contemplated it for a while, because accepting feedback and “growing to be better” is important, but I decided otherwise:
I'm not trying to be people's definition as a “good writer”, I just want to write as me.
— Winnie Lim (@wynlim) April 17, 2014
I tweeted that in April 17 of last year, and I think I have progressively gotten better (according to my own standards) about writing as myself, but something else got in the way.
I have always seen life as work and work as life, so I poured all of myself into whatever professional work I was doing. I started taking people’s feedback seriously and channeled that into my “professional growth”, whatever that means.
Some time ago – which probably coincided with my entries here getting darker – I realized I was losing myself. In favor of “professional growth”, I have lost sight of who I am. I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I was getting disconnected from my intuition, I stopped doing things that felt right, and started doing things people told me was “better” for me. Well, they say growth is uncomfortable, so I put up with that discomfort.
But right now this is where I am: I am going to start from zero and build myself up again. Reaching the bottom has given me a blessing in disguise, because now I can just throw my existing life out like garbage and start anew. I have nothing to lose, because I have already lost myself.
I don’t only want to write as me, I want to live as me. That means reconstructing all my conditioned beliefs – I don’t give a shit about public perception anymore. Everything can go into the dumps – I want to construct a life where I am feeling the most alive, even if it means I am going to sleep on the streets and write terrible poetry for the rest of my life.
What is the point of having everything, and feeling dead inside?