When you’re a teenage girl living in a time of so many other teenage girls who are accomplishing things and doing incredible stuff and carving out places for themselves in the world, it’s hard to look at yourself sometimes and accept what you see when you’re not doing amazing things. I’m aware that last sentence was really long and messy, but it had to be said and there wasn’t another way to get the point across.
Anyway, when there are people like Lorde and Petra Collins and Tavi Gevinson and Malala Yousafzai and every other girl I see making art and/or changing perspectives, how can I be satisfied with my own achievements? Do they even begin to measure up? It’s hard, really, to be able to acknowledge yourself while understanding that you’ve still got so far to go. This is something I’ve always struggled with and continue to struggle with all the time. It hit me particularly hard this past summer, when all my friends were traveling or gone or otherwise M.I.A. doing cool stuff while I stayed landlocked in my hometown without anything to do or anyone to pass the time with. All I had to look forward to were the sporadic phone calls my friends would give me from time to time to fill me in on all the interesting things and exciting opportunities they were in the midst of, and it only made me feel worse. I was lazy. Dull. Boring. While my friends were out seizing the days, I was letting the hours pass me by. Part of it was because I couldn’t figure out how to start actually doing productive, worthwhile stuff I really wanted to do. Part of it was that I was afraid that anything I did would never compare to what my friends did. All of this made me even less productive and kept me stuck in a progressive trap of time-wasting.
I got over it eventually, but I still hate the feeling of having accomplished nothing. This blog, maybe, will help combat that a little from happening again. If I write something every day—even something little or crappy or rushed—it’ll help me work past any writer’s block I might get in the future. It’ll teach me to be creative and to persevere past rough spots when I’m writing, which will be especially useful when it comes to writing assignments and things for school plus all the stuff I do in my free time. If I write a little something every day and document it, it’ll be nice. It’ll be productive. I’ll have something to show for my “wasted” time if I’m just writing on my phone, and I guess that’s all I really want.
I find that it’s a lot easier to just write without thinking. The easiest kind of writing is the stuff you put into diaries and journals, writing you don’t intend for anyone else to read or to for the world to see. It’s simpler to go crazy, just saying whatever you want without regard for being politically correct or nice or sugar-coating anything. To know you can be as angry or ridiculous or trivial as you want, make as big a deal of anything as you want, because nobody will ever be able to judge you for it. I can write for pages and pages in my journal and look up after a session and see that the time has gone from 7:30 to 10:45, but if I force myself to write an essay the payoff is far less significant in the same amount of time. The best writers force their inspiration and are able to generate creativity all the time, especially if it’s their source of income or how the support themselves. I’m not quite there yet. I’m still in the “write for fun and fun alone” state of mind, but maybe I’ll get there someday. There’s a really great quote: “I write only when inspiration strikes. Luckily, it strikes at nine o’clock sharp every morning”; that’s not what it says verbatim because it’s attributed to so many different writers, but the gist of it is clear. I’m trying to keep this in mind whenever I get stuck on something, regardless of whether it’s for school or just myself.
The title is so foreboding to me because it reminds me of that book by Ellen Donoghue, Room, which is about such a horrific subject and is based off of a real-life horrifying case about enslavement and abuse. I put “the new” in brackets to get away from the title of the book, which probably sounds really paranoid. But I digress.
My parents put together a new room while I was at work again the other day, and it looks like someone else’s space. The biggest thing is that there’s a whole lot of empty wall space now everywhere—compared to my previous setup, it’s like SPACE FOR DAYZ, MAN. On the plus side, that means I can finally hang up all those paintings and prints I’ve collected. But there’s also a lot of negative air space, which I guess I’m not used to since my old loft bed maximized all the space in my room. I’ll just have to adapt to that, I guess. And adapt to sleeping about two feet off the floor as opposed to sleeping about two feet away from the ceiling.
I’m very resistant to most kinds of change. I guess I just like consistency in life, and I don’t like it when things change without my prior knowledge. It’s nice to prepare for something so you’re in the right mindset for it, but maybe I’ve gotten so dependent on that kind of thinking that my ability to deal when I can’t know about something beforehand has basically diminished into nothing. If a movie gets really intense, I’ll want to look up the ending on Wikipedia so I know how it all turns out—I don’t want to have to worry about what will happen to the characters or if the good ones will win or if the bad guys will succeed. I like to know what my family’s having for dinner when it’s only lunchtime so I can plan my portions and what parts I want to eat. I schedule all my exams and assignments and allocate all my free time into carefully constructed agendas and itemize every task. Because of all this itemizing, I never ever ever miss deadlines, but I’m also a little too particular about getting things done in a specific order. And if something isn’t time-specific, I tend to put it off forever until I get a deadline for it.
Regardless of all my weird tendencies, the bottom line is that I don’t like sudden unforeseen change and the destruction of my old bedroom was something of that variety. That’s probably why I felt so strongly about it. It looks a bit better now that a new bed frame is in place and my desk has been reconstructed, but there’s still a lot of mess on the floor by my closet. I’ve gotta clean all that up, vacuum, and start filling in the blank spaces above my bed and along the walls. Then, maybe, it’ll start to feel like my own place again.
There’s only one place in my house where I can go without fear of being intruded upon or interrupted; one sanctuary. The safe haven of any teenager: my bedroom.
I’ve had the same bedroom with the same setup for over ten years, ever since my brother was born and pre-natally kicked me out of my old bedroom. At the age of seven I got a loft bed (which made me feel like hot shit) and slowly began the ambitious task of filling up my room with books and cool nicknacks and, and my mother would say, junk. She’s said this for years, but only recently did she decide to take some action.
Nobody is allowed into my room without my express permission, so I generally expect everything to stay more or less the same as how I leave it every day. Keeping that in mind, imagine my surprise coming home from my part-time job the other day and seeing everything in my room tossed onto the floor and rearranged with my bed missing and my desk dismantled. (Full disclosure: they threw my bed away.) I didn’t even have another bed to replace my old one and my room floor was full of everything that was perfectly in its own place before, so I was completely room-less (emphasis totally necessary). When I pressed for an explanation, she just said that “Adults don’t sleep in princess-y loft beds”—disregarding the fact that 1) I am not an adult and 2) that is no reason to run in and throw everything on the floor without at least warning me first.
Now I’ve gotta clean up my floor while trying to readjust everything and fit the stuff in my already-small room into the substantially smaller amount of space. I’ve spent two days cleaning and I’ve only finished, like, 15% of it. It’s gonna be a while.
I’ve always had a little space to call my own that I can control entirely, and to suddenly not have that leaves me feeling more than a little disjointed and out of place. All of a sudden I don’t have anywhere to just relax in peace or get dressed or sleep or anything. And I understand that this sort of thing is completely trivial—it’s not like my life will end because my room is in disarray, and I’m lucky to have my own room at all—but just this once, I’m gonna disregard that and say how it just affects my mentality. It just feels like I’ve been evicted, I guess. I’ve spent so much time in this space, building it and working and learning in it, and to see it all torn apart…it hurts a little, somehow.
At least this’ll be motivation to clean it all up faster. The sooner I get everything back to normal, the sooner I can get past the mental block and sleep in a normal bed again.
So I’m in my school’s writing club. Not because I volunteered or signed up or anything like that, but because two of my friends run the club and told me to join. I had some choice in the matter, but why say no? But anyway, I was…voluntold.
I do like writing, and I do a lot of it on my own, but I don’t do any fictional writing. I always, always write nonfiction—which makes things kind of difficult when the writing club centers itself on fictional writing, writing narrative stories from prompts, fictional character development in fictional worlds. Because of this, I usually attend writing club every week only to not write, which is kind of counterintuitive. Instead, I talk to my other friends in the club (whose membership is dwindling pretty quickly as the months go by, like all clubs) or study. My two friends in charge of the club always complain about my lack of participation, but frankly I don’t really care. I don’t like writing fiction because it doesn’t come naturally to me, and I’m not going to write and share any fictional writing I do anytime soon.
I’m not sure why I have this attitude about it. I guess I read a lot a nonfiction and I write a lot of it for school anyway, so it’s become my favourite type of writing over time. I always question if whether or not my writing is actually good—I get high marks in school, but everyone knows that that doesn’t necessarily mean what you’re doing is that great. Oh well.