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Writer’s Block Vs. “Confidence Block”….

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting on here much lately. I’m not sure why, other than I don’t feel inspired to share much, or that anything of interest ever really happens to me.

I’d say I’m suffering from writer’s block, but in reality, I’m suffering from “confidence block”, if there is such a thing. Since being let go from the job I had for the past two years, I feel somewhat adrift in the sea of life, and as if I’m on the verge of drowning but there’s nobody around to notice.

I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a good writer, the same way I stopped singing and acting because I wasn’t sure if I had what it took to compete in a cut-throat world where everyone seemed to have more advantages. Everywhere I look, I see people who are smarter, more interesting, prettier, more likeable, more well-educated, healthier, stronger, more determined. I see people who know what they want out of life and how to make it happen. I’ve always been that girl with “so much potential”.

I’ve always been that girl who has never lived up to any of that potential, who has always had too many flaws. I’ve always been that girl who might have been something special, “if” and “but”. As I get older, I see that potential fading further off into the distance. I am not young and vibrant and confident in the face of adversity and outright hatred.

Somehow, I once had this element of bravado that got lost along the way. It was important to me, because that bravado—a kind of stupid fearlessness mixed with charisma— is what made up for everything else I lacked. It’s what got me jobs I wasn’t qualified for, made me more interesting to get to know than those who were clearly prettier, smarter, more cultured. It’s the thing that allowed me to just do things without thinking too much about the future, and while it allowed me to be selfish and blind to what my intuition was trying to tell me, it also allowed me to walk into a room filled with people who whispered about me behind my back and looked at me with disdain, and feel like I was somehow above that. It allowed me to be resilient, and always open to opportunity, because I believed in the power of myself. I had the ego any narcissist would envy, and while I’d like to say some of it was just a defense mechanism to hide my insecurities, the truth is that I really did believe for a long time that I was meant to be someone a little more special than everyone else.

Whatever I did, I could get away with it, because I was me.

With age supposedly comes wisdom, and I am too wise for that foolish bravado to be something I actually believe in. I no longer believe I am extraordinary. In fact, I’m as ordinary as a person gets. I’m not nearly the desirable person I once was, on so many levels. It’s a shock to me when I walk into a room and have a realisation: People don’t like me.

This is not new to me. I’ve always been, for lack of a better word, a polarising personality. Either you love me or you hate me. Either you want to get to know me, or would prefer I weren’t around. I used to be able to chalk it up to jealousy. I have a stronger personality than many people, and it intimidates. I am not a shrinking violet. I am not content to slink off and hide in the shadows, even when I should.

As I get older, though, I am acutely aware of the truth: People don’t like me because they judge me.

I live in a world where I don’t fit in, where I am often not wanted, but I make myself present regardless. I LITERALLY live in a Southern city where people have been so offended by my behaviour, my life choices, my past, my outspoken views on life that they’ve attempted to break my spirit and drive me out of town. I am in a relationship with someone whose mother dislikes me so intensely, she has wished me dead on several occasions. I run into people socially who knew me from one time in my life or another, and are unable to forgive my past mistakes, or get to know me well enough that they learn I’m not who they believe me to be. Rumour and gossip and innuendo is always more interesting, socially, than moving past things and talking to people directly when something or someone offends you.

Only half of the things I’ve heard about me in my time in Atlanta are true. Yet, I’ve gotten to a point where I no longer bother correcting anyone. People want to judge.

Back when I had more bravado, it didn’t affect me the way it does now. In fact, if I were slighted by a group of faux friends who threw a party and invited everyone except me, I’d walk in with my friends as if I were the most notorious person on the guest list.

I guess, in my mind, I’ve always been a rock star.

These days, I’m more like the sad rock star that’s been through rehab, released the sex tape everyone’s seen, made a train wreck out of life, and is judged by everyone, even though she’s probably really a very nice, compassionate, and sensitive human being.

I live in a city where people don’t really like me, I live in a world where people judge me, and I don’t know what the fuck to do with my life, even though I’ve had countless opportunities to actually “live up to my potential”.

That knowledge would give anyone “confidence block”, I suppose, but I feel things more than most. Spending the last year or so battling illness, as well as having to cope with emotional demons and the process of growing older and feeling as if I’ve lost the opportunity to ever be anything more than a failure—well, it’s been incredibly rough on me. It’s hard to have bravado when you’re on medication that causes you to gain thirty pounds and have panic attacks in public. It’s hard to have bravado when people you trust continually betray you. It’s hard to have bravado when you don’t know how to support yourself, and realise you may very well be completely alone in the world, because you recognise what the process of withering away and dying looks like, and you see it in your family members.

A friend of mine told me recently that if I didn’t change my life soon, I’d end up one of those people who didn’t have a pension, social security, or any way to live in my old age. Ironic, I suppose, that a girl who has seen her life entangled with more than one millionaire should worry about ending up alone and on the street. I wouldn’t be the first. Yet, ironic, nonetheless.

I don’t think about it too much, because really, I don’t expect to live that long. I don’t picture myself being old. For me, where I am now in my life, it feels like my old age. I am not well enough to work outside of the house every day, and my life is governed by the whims of illness. I am tired easily, and don’t know how many adventures I have left in me. I am trying to make the most of them. In comparison, the reality that people don’t really like me all that much seems rather insignificant.

I feel sad every time I see someone who is young and vibrant and full of life and beauty and beloved by the world pass away unexpectedly. It seems so unfair that I am here, and someone who is a genuine loss to the world is not. I do not feel that way out of self-pity, but just sadness. Regret. I wish things might have been different for me. I wish I hadn’t always had such a restless, devious spirit. I wish simple things made me happy. I wish love affairs were more sunshine and rainbows and monogamy and white picket fences, and less about wondering if I have a complete inability to ever truly connect with and love one person who understands me, and makes me feel what other people tell me relationships are supposed to make you feel. Mine have always been complex and emotional, and the ones that are the easiest are the ones that are with those I’d never logically end up with, or have so much complexity of their own that I feel a sense of comfort and acceptance. I wish I didn’t need more, that life without adventure or bravado or demonstrating my flair for the dramatic was enough to make me content.

Deep down inside, I am not. I know I could have someone in my life who would love me unconditionally for the rest of my life, a secure cubicle job, a nice place to live, and become the kind of girl nobody would ever really notice or talk about; the kind that everyone says, “Oh, she’s so nice”. I could have a child and a dog and a cat and a goldfish, and call my family, and go to church on Sundays, and seem like a nurturing, loving human being.

Part of me wonders what that kind of life would be like. Most of me knows I’d be desperately unhappy, restless, and find some way to irrevocably screw it all up.

For such a long time, I simply excused this by saying “Hey, I’m an artist”. But, the truth is, I’m not. An artist is someone who has talent, who uses that talent to create and share with the world. I may have a few pieces of talent here and there, a few eccentricities, but that does not make me an artist.

I am not as good at anything as I once thought I was. That realisation is both humbling and devastating.

I don’t know how to be average, after a lifetime of being told I was anything but. I don’t know how to accept my own lack of extraordinariness, my own way of fooling myself into believing that even if I never fit anywhere in this world, or with anyone, I would carve my own path.

I have run out of energy and imagination, and realise my path is lonely.

I am an ordinary girl, in an extraordinary world…not the other way around. (sorry, Green Day.)

Mostly, that lack of confidence and bravado and the admission that not knowing how to handle life terrifies me, and the way people judge me makes me cry more than I should, and knowing that it’s so difficult to trust anyone in life leaves me closed off to the idea of caring, that’s what leaves the page blank.

I’ve kept a blog for 10 years. I may have written a million words, thoughts, and feelings. I now understand there’s a possibility that not a single one of them was profound, enjoyable, interesting, or remarkable in any way.

The page stays blank, even as the calendar turns.

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