Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Old Eyes

Hello Blog.  It's been a while.  I'm not ignoring you, I swear.  I've just needed some time to think.  I made a post back in March, but apart from that I haven't really talked to you since November.  A lot's changed since there.  I've changed.

We need to talk.

Don't worry.  I'm not abandoning you.  Far from it.  But if this relationship is to continue, some things need to be settled.  I need to be honest with you, and I need to be direct.  I look back at some of these posts, and as earnest as they were, they weren't entirely truthful.  At least not to myself.

I've never believed that all opinions were created equal, and all should have equal weight.  Call me an elitist, snob, authoritarian commie fascist whatever.  An informed opinion has more weight to me than an uninformed or a misinformed one.  There are beliefs, and there are facts.  The two are distinct.  It's as the caption at the top of the blog says.  You can believe anything.  I want the truth, or as close to the truth as I can get.  The truth is by its nature oppressive.

But the thing is, I am human.  And as such, I'm frequently wrong.  Few personality traits irritate me more than self-righteousness.  Few things frighten me more than self-deception, and with good reason.  If this blog has demonstrated anything to me, it's demonstrated the consequences of self-deception.  The two traits are inextricably linked.

What I'm trying to say, I suppose, dear blog, is that much of this boils down to trust.  And if I can't trust myself, who can I trust?  Much has happened to me to suggest that that the reality I inhabit isn't really all that real.  How can I have an informed opinion if I can't even trust my senses or my judgement?

The past few months have been a whirlwind of change.  I'm no longer sick.  I mean really no longer sick.  Going off medication healthy.  And it requires me to define myself by different traits.  My coworkers at the advocacy group I now work at chastise me for calling myself "crazy."  But the truth of the matter is, that's how it felt. For the past sixteen years, I was crazy.  Locked away, frozen since the age of about eleven or twelve in place in the grips of my illness.  Dreaming.  Plugged into the Matrix.  The world it helped me to create.  My prison.

I don't know when or how exactly, but I've woken up now.  And I am not who I thought I was.

But that's okay.

So I suppose, blog, I was avoiding you because I didn't want to face the truth.  Maybe I just wasn't ready.  But what I've come to understand is this.  Silence isn't modesty.  Silence is silence.  It is the absence of expression.  And, you know, I've got a lot to say.  So maybe I need to stop being so self-conscious about the whole thing and just say what's on my mind from now on.  Can we work with that?

Lest this post become even more meta than it already is, I will explain what made the difference.  I don't know when exactly, but sometime between last July and November, I made a decision.  I started taking risks.  Not chances, mind you.  Calculated risks.  I'm asked to query a script for an apocalypse-themed show at a local theater.  I do it.  It was actually chosen to be performed.  And now it's the title of an anthology.  I want to get politically involved, so I ask an organizer what I can do.  Now I have a job I love advocating for the disabled and mentally ill.  Someone offers me a sales job, I take it.  Now being off public assistance inside of a year is a real possibility.  Even today, I showed up at a meeting of local creative types, someone likes the sound of my voice and offers me a voice acting gig.  In which I get to learn how to use puppets.  Someone wants me to write a graphic novel for a movie?  Why not.  Now I get paid and I have two legitimate publications to my credit.

Oh poor me, no one respects me?  I'm helpless? Success takes the courage to risk failing and to continue undaunted if you do fail.  Like here, dear blog.
So who really gives a shit if I look stupid?  That's the worst reason I ever heard of not to post here.

So welcome back into my life.  Let's be friends, yeah?  Okay.  I thought so.