Let Me Tell You

My mother-in-law told me: “Someone who only does the right thing when there is no possibility they will face any consequences is not doing the right thing.

Due to recent events, that resonated with me.

Lately, I’ve forced myself to shut up and listen. Not listen to every little noise around me, but the wiser, more experienced, more mature people in my life who I know actually care about me. It’s a relatively small group of people, but a small group of people who genuinely love and care about you is invaluable.

My mother-in-law is one of those people. She gives good advice. Of course, this specific advice I’ve shared has nothing to do with this particular blog post, but I thought it would help someone who saw it.

Or maybe it has everything to do with this blog post?

I like going to therapy. Formerly (years ago), I was known as a guy who was resistant to mental health assistance. It probably has to do with the environment I was raised in, but that doesn’t matter anymore. Finding my way to enjoying and appreciating therapy is all that matters now.

A couple of things I’ve discussed with my therapist recently were public image, bullying, harassment, burnout, and writer’s block.

All in all, my therapist had lots of great guiding questions so I talked myself through a lot of my feelings, but something, in particular, stood out to me. My therapist asked me: “How much of your life do you want to spend on this?”

It was a good question. Sometimes, dissecting a problem, understanding it, and coming to terms with the results isn’t as important as deciding whether or not you actually want to devote any energy to the problem.

As Taylor Swift has said: “You don’t have to forgive and you don’t have to forget to move on. You can move on without any of those things happening. You just become indifferent, and then you move on.”

I feel that sometimes I devote too much energy to worrying about a problem that will never have a solution. It can’t be solved because the problem is not me. Nothing I do will make The Thing better. Probably because the problem has nothing to do with me. No matter who tries to make me feel that it is. So…how much of my life do I want to spend on this?

None.

Even if I feel betrayed and hurt by what happened, sometimes you just need to move on. You don’t have to worry about forgetting or forgiveness, you can just accept The Thing for what it is…and move on.

Because some people only do the right thing if there is no personal consequence for them.

You can’t expect more than that from some people. And you don’t have to forget it or forgive it. You can just move on.

However, I’ve also felt burned out and as though writer’s block has been creeping in slowly. I thought maybe it was due to a mental block, depression, or simply being sad over some recent events. Let me tell you, my therapist thought otherwise.

When I talked about these topics with my therapist, she asked me a few questions that I felt all writers should ask themselves.

Why did you start writing?

and

Why are you still writing?

If the answers don’t match–or even if they do–it doesn’t necessarily mean…anything.

But my answer to why I started writing was:

I started writing when I was young, life sucked, and writing was an escape from an often shitty life. Or, what was a shitty life in my humble opinion as a dumbass kid.

Creating worlds, characters, stories, and spending hours tucked away in my room with a notebook was preferable to the outside world. It was both grander and gentler than life and the outside world. It was my way of moving on without forgiving or forgetting. I could ignore everything that bothered me and create a world that I enjoyed inhabiting.

It was fun and creative, but it also made life bearable for another day.

My answer to why I write now was:

Silence. I didn’t have the first fucking clue.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I adore the creativity of it. I love telling stories that entertain and help others escape. Stories that make other people feel seen–especially my LGBTQIA+ family. However, that was the only answer I could provide.

After a moment, my therapist told me that I wasn’t burned out. I didn’t have writer’s block. I simply wasn’t escaping anymore.

Well…if that wasn’t a punch to the side of the head.

Life is good. I adore my family. Other than specific things beyond my control that–let’s be honest, don’t really affect me–life is great. There is nothing for me to escape from because I love exactly where I am, who I am with, and what I am doing with my life.

Writing doesn’t feel as urgent or necessary as it once did. It’s not just a tool anymore, it is also an absolute pleasure. Now, when I write, I’m writing from a purely creative place and not creating fantasies to extract me from shitty circumstances.

Sometimes, that’s a little slower going. “Slow” doesn’t mean burned out or blocked. It just means slow. When life is great, there are more things to distract from writing time, and you are enjoying life, it’s okay if you don’t hit a certain word count each day. Who are you competing with, after all?

Allow writing to be the pleasure it is, stop listening to the noise around you, stop listening to the pseudo-psycho-babble social media loves to foist on you, and lean into your joy. Happiness and creativity don’t have a timetable–even if social media would like you to believe otherwise.

Social media has become a wasteland of armchair experts, influencers, perpetually offended whiners, social justice warriors with tunnel vision, haters, bigots, and egomaniacs that cannot find validation anywhere else. Nothing–in my opinion–has been worse for our collective mental health in the last 3 years than social media. Because it not only makes it impossible to escape the shitty parts of life, it forces us to hear every motherfucking opinion about those shitty parts of life. We all really need to take it less seriously.

And, let me tell you, shut up and start listening to the people who actually care about and love you. All that other stuff is just noise.

Tremendous Love & Thanks
Chase

One thought on “Let Me Tell You

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.