#110: I’m Terrible At Beginnings

Stephanie Pui Mun Law Garden

(Notes from the FUTURE: The numbering system on my blog has been weird forever. I didn’t initially number my blog entries, then at some point I briefly started numbering my poetry posts but then I stopped. When I started a seperate blog that was intended to be more of a journal [and which was ultimately moved here] on Livejournal, I numbered the posts, and I really enjoyed doing that. My plan here was to start a new series of blogs where I numbered each entry, ideally writing every day. It didn’t work out that way. I can’t say what the numbering system looks like now if it does exist anymore, but originally this post was titled “#1: I’m Terrible At Beginnings.” – 4/19/2016)

It applies to every part of my life: I suck at beginnings. When I write, I start in the middle of a scene, almost always in the middle of a story. In a relationship, I’m terrible in the beginning: I overthink things, I scrutinize, I make things harder, I cry, I have anxiety attacks, I panic. Beginnings are difficult for me, and that’s why this post has taken me about five weeks.

Yep, five weeks. Maybe give or take a week or two. It’s a simple idea: write every day. And if you miss a day that’s fine, but number the posts, and then it’s an ongoing project. And you can write about what’s on your mind.

Every day, I want to write about something. I want to write about my day, about what I’m thinking about, what I’m listening to, what I’m reading, what I’m afraid of. So many things. But I never start, because I don’t want to write the FIRST one. The one where I begin, and explain what needs to be explained, and talk about how I’ve had this blog for six years but have hardly really written actual journal entries about my life, my thoughts. It’s because whenever I do, I usually write a really lengthy and well thought out post, and then I hold myself to that standard in the future, and I’m afraid to write something small, because it won’t be as good as the previous post. It won’t be an “article.” It won’t be good enough.

And that’s why I’m taking this time to just start the damn thing. Sometimes my writing is good, sometimes it’s fluid and I use a lot of fun words and it reads well, and I’m proud of it. And sometimes it’s pulled right out of my head from that moment, and I’m still proud of that too. The point is I want to create something. My phone and my notebooks are filled with ideas for blog entries. I want to write about musicians I love, I want to write about discovering music and books and art, I want to write about my opinions, I want to write about things that scare me, I want to write about my own WRITING, the novel I’ve been trying to bring into the world for years. I want to write about my life. About how EVERYTHING has changed.

I want to write about how I came close to suicide. I want to write about how sometimes I still find myself on the ledge. I want to write about mental health, about my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and how it’s affected my life, I want to write about my anxiety. I want to tell my story.

But there’s just SO much to tell. And I never know where to begin. I thought about beginning these journals with entry #2, just so that I don’t ever have to write the first one, and if I want, I can retroactively add in the first one. I’m terrible at STARTING projects. As it happens I’m also not great at finishing them. But in the middle, I’m great at that part! I want to write what’s in my head as it happens. If I write down an idea for a blog post, I’ll come back to it three days later and think “I don’t really want to write about that anymore.”

I have so much to say. The thing about dying that scares me the most is that I’ll leave the world without ever having said all the things I want to say, or playing the songs in my heart, or writing the stories in my head (maybe they should be coming more from my heart than my head, maybe that’s the problem, maybe I’ve made a breakthrough, I don’t know).

I know this reads disjointed, or at least I think it reads that way, I don’t know because I’m not reading it, I’m writing it. I’m feeling a little like Delirium right now (and by extension, maybe a little like Tori Amos? I don’t know, I haven’t met her. I’ve met her in music, though).

I want to talk about everything. I want to say everything. What I want more than anything is to tell the truth.

The beginning of this blog is a little hard to read, if I go back and look at those entries from six years ago, when I was twenty, and when I was terrified, and when I was desperately trying to be positive. It feels so fake now, reading it, but I know that my attempt to be positive helped me then. I ended every entry by blessing the reader, by being positive, even though I was in a very stale, very negative, very terrible place. I was plagued by guilt, and lies, and hatred, and love too. I hated and loved someone very much. And I hated and loved myself very much. Now I’m in a place where I can be honest with myself. I recognize dishonesty in myself when it happens, and usually I do my best to stop it.

I try to tell the truth. That’s important to me. Some people lie until their lie becomes truth. I just tell the truth. Sometimes the truth is horrifying, or… breaking. I can’t say heartbreaking because it’s not just that. It’s not just heartbreaking or mindbreaking, it’s breaking. The truth can break. That sentence can mean a few things. Or maybe just two, I’m not sure, but I know that I’m still very broken. I will probably always be shattered, and that’s fine, I want to be authentically who I am, and if who I am is shattered, then cool.

There’s a lot to say. I’m shattered. My thoughts are in many places and go in many directions. But I want them to live, and to be expressed. I want to get them all out of me, so they can live. I want to give birth to my ideas. I want to create.

So, this is the first one. Unapologetically, the first one.

I’m starting. There aren’t any rules. I don’t have to write every day. I don’t have to stick to a schedule. But I’m writing now, and that’s that.

I made it through the beginning.

Now we can keep going.

smilingannie

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4 thoughts on “#110: I’m Terrible At Beginnings

    • I know! And it’s not like I don’t already have three hundred or so posts on this blog, because I do, but this serious journaling is a project I’ve wanted to start for a very long time. So hopefully I can start saying the things that are on my mind.

  1. That was wonderful. “Sometimes the truth is horrifying, or… breaking. I can’t say heartbreaking because it’s not just that. It’s not just heartbreaking or mindbreaking, it’s breaking. The truth can break.” That just completely resonates with me. I’m working on being honest and authentic with myself, and I’m working on following through with the many beginnings – both the ones that are swirling around in my head, and the ones that are inevitably approaching.
    I hope you stick with this.
    (And also please post something on Facebook when you put up something new – I lose track of things.)

    • Thank you! You might be the first person to ever say that something I wrote resonated with them. Woohoo! Also I will post on Facebook when I update, I usually do.

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