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  • Writer's pictureChoo Choo

Gotta hurry up and jot all this down before I run out of coffee and the manic episode subsides

Now that I've begun a self-imposed regimen of partial mobility (unbeknownst to my doctor and to the chagrin and bemusement of my saintly boyfriend, who is doing his best to be a supportive boyfriend and a non-judgmental doctor), a glimmer of hope has been reintroduced into my daily routine. I've once again resumed planning for future projects. The apartment has returned to an acceptable level of tidiness, even though it still takes me nearly twice as long to hobble around putting things away and placing them in pleasing perpendicular angles to one another. (I know I have many issues, and I should probably see someone about them, but since I can't afford that, this blog will have to do. The eternal void that is the Internet shall be my therapist, and we'll be collectively worse off once this is all over.)

I've been having a lot of thoughts, as is my wont when I have oodles of downtime wherein my idling brain, naturally ambitious and prone to dissatisfaction with its present circumstances whatever they happen to be, itches to make contact with a tangible, meaningful goal. I thought back to the last time I allowed myself to be truly creative, without fear of rejection, failure, or boredom. You know when that was? Over a decade ago. I must have been 13-14-15, right after I dropped out of middle school and before I began preparing for music school auditions. Every new day brought an unbridled output of reading, writing, drawing, every day, for hours on end, I didn't have an agenda and wasn't worried about who would see my work or whether or not I was going to make any money with it. None of those projects ever really amounted to anything--I have always been my own worst critic and had a bad habit of abandoning writing projects halfway through because I thought they were no good--but the fact is I was doing it, every day, writing, sketching, experimenting with all sorts of media. I worked on a sweeping epic fantasy novel with a royal female protagonist. It was, in my delusional fifteen-year-old mind, a hybrid of Ken Follett and J.K. Rowling. (When Eragon was published, I remembered feelings of jealousy and contempt upon learning that the author had been in his teens.) I dabbled with charcoals and pastels and photography. I tried to teach myself Photoshop before it was even really a thing.

That unabashed creative license, free from the restrictions imposed by adulthood (and shielded from the distractions of Facebook and Netflix) made those years some of the happiest of my life. Then I grew up. My focus shifted and narrowed, and I set aside those other creative passions in favor of music. I've often thought about picking up those old hobbies again, dusting off the old chops and building up that old callous I used to have on my finger from holding a pencil so often. Something always held me back; either a fear that I would be wasting my time, that it would detract from my musical pursuits, or perhaps that I would discover I wasn't good enough to cut it, and it would no longer bring me joy. And here I think we are arriving at the main thesis of my perfectionist persona that has been holding me back for all this time: I am good at the things I enjoy, but what if I only enjoy them because I am good at them?

I have no regrets with my decision to focus on music, but lately I have wondered if perhaps my relinquishment of those other artistic outlets was premature. I have always and will continue to believe that music is a universal language that is able to transcend the bounds of perceptible thought. But what good is a language when no one is listening? Maybe it's time to switch the method of communication.

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