I began this stream of consciousness on another tangent entirely the other day. I thought I was focused on one thing when I’m still working on the thing I’m always working on these days, me. Which is quite interesting in and of itself. To lay way yourself to a query and do all your due diligence and research and personnel outreach and then conclude, goddamn this is still about the bigger picture.
I’m not mad at that at all. In my going to pepper you with question state, I interrogated some lovely lovely, and unfailing patient-with-me people, and was blessed to receive a variety and bevy of answers that I am not remotely good enough for. What it all helped me ascertain is the project and hobby I keep working on is myself. Sure, am I late to this party of one, 100%. Should I maybe have started on Project Me before now, in other ways, in better ways, also yes. But none of that is relevant because I no longer have the past, I don’t even have the future. I have now. You have now.
The curiosity that helped me write a new code into K/ was asking writers who write, well why they were doing so. Was this a compunction borne out of need, pure talent, a specific point in time, etc? What I got back and in rereading was for the majority it was something they always did. They couldn’t help it. It was a habit. They had aspirations for one thing or another. What I was wondering much like all my word salads is where did I fit? Did I belong in a place genuinely enough to say I always wrote? Had I stories to tell? I had prose to move or so I thought. Could I say I write too, even if no one but me saw it? And the answer is, sometimes. Not an answer, but it goes hand in hand with Project Me.
I’ve always written. I love words. I was a penmanship and spelling bee champ! I was back in the day a great pen pal. I loved letters. I moved on to writing emails as passionately as letters. I fell in love once in letters. I fell in love twice in emails. I fell in love via text and Twitter. Because I am writing. Just because it wasn’t nonfiction, or a newsletter, or podcasts or poetry that made your heart burst didn’t make me less worthy of getting the words I pasted to the inside of my soul outside of myself. None of it has to matter except to me. Because all I have is now. You have now.
Ah, you say; do any number of words then thusly count as writing. The world is long on opinions, shrift on editing. Especially oneself. Writing a thread or post that might have others hurt or angry – is that still just writing for you because you can do it. I would have to quibble with that. I couldn’t have a Project Me that remotely or stylistically butted up against anyone else’s pain. That’s a no-go. You can’t work on yourself and give consideration only to yourself (the duality of life is always amazing). Talent or not. I want to work on this project without alienating others. So maybe a writer-lite. If I want to level up, I’ll ask Maureen Dowd to whom she sold her soul.
In amongst the rest, it’s become abundantly clear I’ve given almost all of myself to other people for nearly two decades. All the creativity I may have possessed and the possibility of it all was wrapped up in the people. It’s not laying blame, that’s on me for giving without confidently prioritizing any of me in that space. The layers of subjects and predicates painted over by abuse and child-rearing and grief, I hope have finally begun to peel. At one time keeping anything I thought I wanted to say or get out to myself felt more straightforward. Why would I want to put out what was in my head? Why document it when you already thought it. When you thought you were clever or sad or depressed or happy? You had the thought, the experience, the moment of clarity; no one needs that. But that isn’t true. It isn’t true for the creatives, and we’re all creative, the manifestation might just be a little different from hapless soul to hapless soul. Creative writing can be cathartic therapy. It can be an addiction. It can be an obsession. The point I suppose of Project Me is it’s a project without any due date.
Maybe I’ll never write anything after this, maybe I’ll move on to skydiving (the image this conjures is excruciatingly hilarious).
Whatever journey writing takes me on is propelling me forward. The now I’m in is a new chapter. My story only has one author, me. And I hope the time of now isn’t over before it begins. Teaching myself I can not afford to lose myself is the assignment; I won’t accept a failing grade.
I hope Project Me is a success.