How being Happy actually made me feel guilty. And how I stopped writing
Isn’t it strange. I have problems, and I can’t really complain about them because the whole world is having the same problems, and I don’t even have them worse than many! So by this fact my issues are sort of unworthy, I’m not really entitled to feeling tired, depressed, having lack of creativity and motivation… I see people volunteer and create art to support others, and I barely find the strength to go buy some groceries. The fact that I have two children and a husband are the only things keeping me “awake” these days. I can’t have a nervous breakdown, I can’t lie in bed for days, I can’t not do the dishes or not cook or not shower – I have people depending on me. And I can’t complain because I don’t have it that bad.
The thing is, I always thought art was the most important thing in my life. I felt unworthy of living if I’m not going to become a successful artist. If I can’t bring a smile to someone by writing a funny story, make someone feel beautiful by wearing my jewelry, make someone feel better about their home by creating wall art and sculptures and cute planters… then I shouldn’t’ve been born really… Growing up I thought I’d change the world. I would write satire and anti-utopias, I thought I would raise the important questions of Humans destroying the Earth and each other, hunger, poverty, wars… I read and watched so much Sci-fi, and I had so much hope and determination… I felt so frustrated that I just couldn’t do it. My books weren’t good enough, my art wasn’t good enough, I should get better, I should become more outgoing, I should talk more, explain more, raise questions, help more… Or else why was I even born? Why have a brain capable of understanding all that, capable of inventing and creating, if I can’t save this world, really?..
But then I realized, Ray Bradbury published his brilliant books long before I was born. So did George Orwell, so did all those other brilliant writers. They said these very things I had brewing in me for years, but my language skills were never good enough to deliver them properly. Unlike THEM! They did it! They delivered it, and people read those books, and nodded, and had food for thought, and… wait, what? And the world did not get saved! Poverty, hunger and deforestation didn’t end? So I stopped writing.
Sometimes, like today, I just can’t NOT write. I have to get it all out. And since I haven’t really let anything out for many years, this might not even be a single post, but a string of them… I’ll try not to write a whole autobiography in one post, I’ll try to contain this one to… writing and why I got born. Ok.
So, yeah, for years I thought if I don’t make it in the end – I was born for nothing, I shouldn’t’ve been born. I had so much anxiety of what if people don’t like me, what if I annoy someone, what if I waste someone’s time? Seriously, I feel better when people DON’T talk to me because I don’t want them spend their precious time on Earth on me… Unless I’m talented and brilliant and can change their lives for the better – seriously, no one should spend their time on me.
But it all started to change with Covid. I realized that I finally feel free. If the world will end, and I’m not a doctor – I can just as well sit back and enjoy my life without the pressure… I played board games with my kids, we did family Yoga, staying home for a month without all the pressure felt like a family vacation. I felt guilty for having fun during the end of the world with all these poor people getting sick, but then I found a research that said many people with anxiety felt joy or serenity during the pandemic, because A) the reason for their anxiety (going out, office, school etc) was gone, they were allowed to stay at home without the judgement B) The whole world became anxious, terrified, stressed and depressed, and since those people felt it all anyway – they were functioning better relatively to “normal” people, and also the feeling that the whole world is in one boat with you gives a nice cozy feeling of you’re finally not alone with your fears and sadness.
Of course, when Covid ended people forgot they felt all that and started judging me for not building my business online, not making Zoom art-lessons for kids, and not offering nanny services for those who had to go to work during Covid. So I’ve come full circle to the beginning of the post: “Isn’t it strange. I have problems, and I can’t really complain about them because the whole world is having the same problems, and I don’t even have them worse than many! So by this fact my issues are sort of unworthy, I’m not really entitled to feeling tired, depressed, having lack of creativity and motivation…”