I recently found a video on a friend’s Facebook profile that made me cry because I had never identified more to any media. It shows how society absolutely kills your creativity and turns you into something you are not and don’t want to be.
I am those colorless people. That is EXACTLY how I feel.
I was always the odd girl in class that no one really wanted to talk to. I was the girl who was learning English at a time when it wasn’t so mainstream in schools quite yet. Later on, while all the girls were drooling over Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Freddie Prize Jr., I was geeking out over Disney movies, science fiction and technology. I was happy in my little geek world, even if I was all alone in it. One day, my aunt got us AOL, and that just expanded my world. I found other people out there in the universe that were just like me.
But the world doesn’t have time for your TV shows, your likes, dreams or the things you want to do. Society tells you that you MUST complete someone else’s predetermined schedule of schoolwork, then immediately after, you MUST get a mind-numbing job at an office and bury your soul deep inside so you are just a shell of the real person you were. Your only role is now to just follow the rules, no more dreaming, no more thinking. My writing, all that writing I used to do and even won some awards for – stop that immediately because it’s pointless. I love the way you sing, you have a gorgeous voice – it means absolutely nothing if you can’t use that in the office. It’s all just a waste of time.
And I fell for every single word of it. I remember my counselor in high school asking me what I wanted to study in college and I had no answer because how could I possibly decide what career I wanted for the rest of my life at 17? I like everything, and I love learning new things. But I remember her forcing college down my throat and psychologically altering my mind to this idea that I had to spend a fortune I did not have on an education I didn’t 100% know I wanted. I got a bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish which…yes I enjoyed getting, I suppose. But I had to drop the Education portion of my degree I had originally tried for because there was no way a foreign language ed major could study abroad and still graduate on time (?!?!?!?). I wanted to take advantage and spend a semester in France! I couldn’t get a degree in anything IT related because I would never ever pass the crazy math classes required of me so I stuck with the languages. Soon after college I started working at the company where my parents worked. I told myself I would stay only one year. That was 10+ years ago. Somewhere along the way in my twenties I left myself behind, forgot all the things I loved and what made me “me”.
Now, in my early thirties, I am going through a sort of rediscovery of who Esty really is in part thanks to social media and some seriously beautiful friends in my life. But I can’t seem to get there at ALL. My job is…to say it’s draining is putting it lightly. It’s a constant internal struggle I am fighting all day every single day. I am running and on high-stress mode ALL day long, sometimes not even able to eat lunch. When I get home I am SO tired, all I can do is just sit on the couch. I have no brainpower left, or willpower to do anything, or any power at all, really. I find that I am always angry, short with people, annoyed at every single thing I have to do, etc. I have been trying for years to leave this horrible toxic job for a new, better, healthier one that will allow me to still have a life outside of work. And, I haven’t done a damn thing with any of my “creative abilities” to allow me to make money that way either. My (expensive NJ) mortgage will not pay itself after all. And I won’t even get into how I feel like I am falling behind because that is a whole other mess of tears, anger and non-resolution. I have not been genuinely happy for a long time but I have to push that aside because that is something else still pushed by society.
This is the first time I have actually written in so many months and it feels good. I miss writing here and for FanFest News. I hardly even consider myself part of their team but I don’t think I’m not part of the team either, I guess? I want to start writing articles again, maybe find a writing competition or something and submit some work? I’d love to have enough energy to get back to the amateur PR stuff I had gotten into on Twitter, too. So much conflict, such little mental power in one body.
I shouldn’t completely put myself down, though, because I have had a few very small but important victories. I did promise myself on Jan 1 this year that I would be braver than I was in the past. I started by getting a second piercing in each ear which, if you know anything about my fear of needles, wounds, etc knows that this was a huge deal for me. I also uploaded some audio of my singing up on YouTube, and am going to try to get more up soon. And, in a desperate attempt to defeat my anxiety, I started taking kickboxing! I am LOVING it so much. I walk in to class feeling angry and exhausted and walk out actually feeling like a god. I volunteer at Heroes & Villains FanFest – just the one in NJ for now because I don’t have the money to go to more, but I do it and I love doing it so so much.
So, for those of you who have asked me where I’ve been, and why I have been so much quieter lately, this is it. I can’t believe it took an animated short film to really be able to open up about it. I am a fighter who is ALWAYS there for those who need her, but I think it’s time for me to come back to myself a bit. I will try to hush the loud voices of a society that inhibits creativity and positivity to see the world the way I actually want to see it. I may need your help along the way. Some of you have been a serious ray of bright light in the nasty storm I stuck myself into and I thank you for your constant love and support. It’s a lovely reminder that there really is some color still in this seemingly colorless world. ❤