The past few weeks have been rough, to put it mildly. Between classes and working two jobs I have had just barely enough time to sleep between days, and back in August my depression decided it wanted to join the part and promptly spiked up worse than I have ever experienced in my life (more on that in a later post).
During this particularly unfortunate period of time I realized something that really frustrated me. When things start to go wrong in my life, when I get stressed out, or suddenly get really busy, the first things I let fall to the wayside are the things I love the most, namely reading and writing.
Under ideal circumstances I can easily read a book every 3 or 4 days. Obviously I go through phases like anyone else- I’ll read nonstop for a week and then not read again for a month- but it is very rare that I am not part way through something. As for writing, well even under ideal circumstances I am rather inconsistent in that department, but when I do finally sit down to work on something it is the best feeling in the world. I love the feeling of creating, the exploration into my characters and their worlds, the freedom to make something that is mine.
In a way it is easy to understand why these joys of mine are the first things to get cut. They aren’t homework that determines whether I graduate, they aren’t work related activities that determine whether I get paid, so all things considered it is more responsible to set them to the side and come back when I have more time to spare.
On the other side, however, these things are absolutely essential to my happiness. They are not just hobbies, they are part of who I am. When I get lost in a book, when I get lost in my own writing, that is the only time I feel honestly, truly, 100% myself. I have been having a really hard time with the whole “self identity” thing lately, and just about everything about my life is uncertain right now, but the one thing I know, really, honestly, truly know, is that I am a reader and a writer. Those two things are woven into my soul, and while they may not currently be the highest priority in my life, they are crucial to my happiness. And frankly, I’m tired of sacrificing that, responsible or not.
I personally believe that we should always be working towards the life we want, not just maintaining the life we already have. If I keep waiting until I “have more time,” my memoir will be the life of a writer that never was and a long list of books never read. And that would be absolutely devastating. I was born to be a creator; I have known it almost my entire life.
Time to become one.