If someone would have asked me ten years ago the most fundamental and most annoyingly complicated question in the world, who are you, I would have immediately started building a list of bulleted items, churning them out without hesitation.
Since then, my convictions have evaporated as if they never existed. The Greeks kept repeating nosce te ipsum (know thyself) ad nauseum for centuries and Thomas Hobbes claimed in the introduction to his work The Leviathan that if you know yourself and understand your motivations, fears, and reasoning, you will understand and know everyone else. The list goes on, my favourite contemporary reference points to the tattoo on the arm of Sense8’s Nomi (gosh, I loved that show!!!). For more advanced research on the whole self-individuation-psyche subject there’s always my preferred mentor, Carl Gustav Jung.
It’s safe to say that the more I learn, the less I know. About the world in general and more importantly (and infuriatingly) about myself.
If there is anything that the last two decades of my life taught me is that we are a conglomerate of our emotions. Whatever makes us happy adds to who we are. Anything that gives any semblance of meaning to our otherwise pointless existence can be heaped on top of the pile labelled this is me.
My pile is relatively big. Fulfilling human relationships, hobbies, creativity, an eternal curiosity and the constant desire to understand propel me forward. I was happier before, but I suppose because I knew less then. I am aware that happiness only exists in my fantasies, but I’m okay with moments of contentment, bubbles of joy, and the all too fleeting sense of freedom, however rarely it presents itself.
Writing stories has always been a pivotal way of escaping reality, or delving into it, whichever side we’re taking. I first weaved stories in my head at eleven, then started writing them down in my journal. This went on for years, without consequence, without stakes. As a next, somewhat logical step (I guess due to my natural craving for interaction) I got immersed in the frolicking, carefree world of fanfictions and learnt that in order to please others, I cannot be true to myself, and often vice versa. As the years passed it became more and more clear that if there is a path for me toward enlightenment or any of that crap, it’s creativity and what better way of getting to know me than through writing. Whenever I was faced with an emotional conundrum, I grasped its meaning as soon as I wrote a story about it. Better yet, I grasped things about myself I never knew I needed to grasp. Books on the importance and emotional mechanics of writing bring this to the forefront more adequately than I; some of my personal favourites are Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf.
So here I am, in my newly chosen virtual home of my own. It’s simple and it makes me feel cosy. I hope I can be truthful here. I will visit and revisit subjects that are important to me and my writing; I will post about my struggles and small victories as a self-published author in a world of thousands of self-published books each week; I will talk about my finished novel, A Walk by the Sea and about my future endeavours.
I hope to meet old and new friends here. I long for meaningful conversations and I know you do, too. We all do. Without human connections what is there…? Some of us could enjoy a solitary ride. Maybe. In any case, since we’re here, we might as well try to enjoy it. Alone or with our chosen people.
With the moonlight to guide you
Feel the joy of being alive
The day that you stop running
Is the day that you arrive
And the night that you got locked in
Was the time to decide
Stop chasing shadows
Just enjoy the ride.
(Morcheeba Enjoy the Ride)