1/11/2019

For My Self

1/11/2019

When I got up this morning I walked to the downstairs "basement" (an area below the house, which is on stilts to catch the breeze, fenced in for storage and plumbing and whatever else that must be kept) to grab my breakfast - a mango. I had never had fresh mango before this trip, and it is still one of my favourite things to eat while we've been here. One of the things I love about it is that it is nearly impossible to stay clean while eating it. No matter how carefully you cut it into those artsy squares, you will always end up looking like a fool, standing over the sink with juice all over you as you try to get every bit of pulp off of the pit. I like that it is undignified. Sometimes I forget the luxury of the feeling.

I like pretty things and I try to write pretty things. But I have no name or status to throw around and achieve recognition. This past year I have lost who I write for. Do I write for you? Do I write for me? For her? I would like to write for myself, but sometimes my self does not want to hear it. Writing for others has made me fear the page - did I say the right thing, did I sound happy enough, am I too sad, will writing this hurt me later, am I being too much? I haven't written anything pretty in a very long time. Putting on a show is my natural tendency but I no longer fit into its demanding skin. Maybe I will one day, with a clearer mind. For now I want to be. To just be. And I'm trying to figure out if that is up to me or society to allow myself to do so. I think the latter is wishful thinking.

That's why I love mangos. No one can judge you while you eat it. You are messy, sloppy, undignified, slipping the pit around like a bar of soap and enjoying every second of it. You exist in that moment. And the process is the best part. I've forgotten the joy in the process - the feeling of just being and creating something Good for the sake of itself. Sometimes it takes little things like breakfast to bring me back to them. To realize that life is bigger. To put off my performance and worry. To say "Screw that", and be an artist. It feels weird to say - because I'm a normal person. I don't feel like an artist. Whatever that means. But I'm tired of worrying about what people I don't even like that much think of me.

I'm stepping away from personal essay for awhile. I'm going to be focusing on areas of short story and fiction - a place I have rarely shared with anyone else. I think its my next step. See you all soon. xoxo

Beth