My passion is rationed. My zeal is cut up into small portions as if I were preparing meals for the week and then used on a case-by-case basis. I am too careful with my time and attention—which is to say I don’t let one idea envelop my soul. To me, that is a sort of surrender I cannot make, and then, I look around and see this is a flaw. This is my biggest flaw in plain sight. The world seeks to be defined, and here, even after spending over a decade playing with words, I shy away from calling myself a writer. Now, the need to be defined, to have a meaning assigned to your life by proxy, is not washed over me. I understand it and respect it when it is in others. It only disgusts me when I think of this need in myself, even in my imagination. To define destroys what you could be.
Let’s say I call myself a writer as audaciously as those who sit and write banal, run-of-the-mill poems without an ounce of thought behind them, which often read like the lines we reject when we sit and write thoughtfully. Let’s say I do that, and then, one day, for some unfortunate circumstance and loss of some faculty, I cannot write anymore. What then? Who will I be, and what will I call myself? A person has to be more than a single thing they do. They must be so much more, so they keep the world guessing. If nothing else, it keeps things interesting.
But in everything I do, I will always keep some part of myself away from it. I will always be the sum of the parts, and I will always be an outsider. That is one way to be one of a kind, of course, but my soul fears being limited by labels. There is little I can do about it. Like how moths flutter towards a flame, even if it causes them to burn and die, I, too, cannot resist this urge, this instinct.
Perhaps, it is not up to me. We all want to belong, don’t we? It is just that when I enter a room and meet people who look the same, sound the same, and act the same way, it scares me. Then, it irks me. Slowly, it sickens me. All of them are dead inside. If that is the cost, then I will always refuse to pay it. I will always have the option of changing my course if I begin to dislike myself.
How many others, I reckon, can make that claim?