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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Stockton

Dream a Little Dream of Me

It’s been awhile.

Truth is…words have not been friendly lately. In fact, they have eluded me completely. Even a daily vss prompt has been agony.

I have not touched my book in months. She has been left cold and unloved in a series of folders and USB thumb drives.

My mind has been filled with so many other things. Just twisting and churning and mostly spinning me in circles. And like a child with their arms held out wide, I’m just kind of waiting for the moment when I fall over. I’m dizzy and trying to find something solid to focus on. But damned if the whole fucking room and everything inside of it isn’t spinning too.

Life is chaos. Even when it feels calm, there is something lurking, isn’t there?

Right now there is so much lurking and spinning and the whole thing is riddled with holes of uncertainty. But what I am certain of…what I know to be true, is that there is a lot on the horizon and my writing—my book, my plans for art and whatever else—they are there…waiting for me to catch up. And if you know anything about me at all, it is that I never grew up with any kind of future in mind. It was never mine to hold. It was never something discussed. It was just never something.

At the moment, however, all I can do is kick my feet as I try to keep my head above the surface. I can’t really commit to any of my plans yet. At least, not with the kind of dedication they would deserve. You need some kind of focus and normality for regular churning of content and interaction. And things like Patreon definitely require just that.

I’m fighting to get there. With everything I have. I can see it. I feel it. I know it is there. My faith in this future tends to even frequently outweigh the so-called “fraud police,” which typically inhabit the echoes of my mind. I have embraced my truth.

Because, and in all honesty, when I’m not writing, when I’m not creating…I can’t breathe. And I have already spent far too much time trying to deny the real person that I am. Trying to be anything other than an artist, other than a writer. Other than this kind of lost and wandering human who just wants to live rather than merely survive.

In school, I tried on career paths and futures like a make-over movie montage. Studying teaching, marine biology, psychology, history. Those things, those “others” that I tried to fit into…those were means of simply surviving. And none of them were me. They were a lie. A thing I tried to love because it was practical. It made sense. It was safe.

But living with only the idea of safety in mind is not really living, is it? That isn’t to say that the classic adage of “live fast, die young” is by any means the way to live your life. Just simply that risk, taking a leap, fighting for something that you want…it is more than worth the fear. More important than being trapped in a prison of your own making, and watching as the days slip away and you remain locked in safety and stagnant from growth.

I grew up wanting to recreate some Jack Kerouac adventure. On the Road style. With a notebook and a full tank of gas. What I got were stories about “Can’t.” Let’s leave the danger of being a woman traveling pretty much anywhere or doing pretty much anything minus the luxury and necessity of male escort as being the loudest of the “Can’t” tales. There were also always the poorly rendered sequels: “But Bills” “But Life” “But Practicality” “But Future”

Funny how “But Happiness” was always the most underrated of the titles, though perhaps the most profound. How “Experience” was never something you were intended to live but only put on a resume.

That’s not to say that happiness and practicality have to be mutually exclusive. You can work hard, keep food in your belly, and still exist above survival. Live a little deeper. And make real connections that actually mean something more than surface-level survival bullshit.

Wanting to get off the hamster-wheel lifestyle when I never wanted on it to begin with…probably the most terrifying leap I have ever taken. I’m almost there. Hit the ground running, or so they say.

I just want to be consumed by art and creativity. I want to breathe it in. Fill my lungs with imaginative wonder. And when I exhale I want it all to flow through my fingers onto the page or the canvas. To mark my life and my passion--my heart--in paint. The mess of it like charcoal on my fingertips. I don’t expect easy. I don’t expect perfect. Perfection never bred beautiful things. Art has never come from easy living. But it has always come from living. I want to live.

I will return to my book. It’s my precious. It’s this thing that I have poured so much of myself into that abandoning it would be to abandon life. It’ll be there on the horizon. I can already hear it again. For the first time in months, it has whispered its prose in the dark. It and I have been through enough together over the years that it knows, we will get through this. The stars are shining. There is hope abound. And I have a song of inspiration ringing in my ears. Watch me burn anew.

Creating myself. One piece at a time.

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