I write some amazing stories. In my head. In the middle of the night while trying to get sleep. While driving in my vehicle. While out in the middle of a lake on my paddleboard. These amazing stories are inspirational and brilliant and words I'd love to share. These stories sometimes get lost, however, on the way to my keyboard. Why a mind-reading thought recorder hasn't yet been invented is a mystery to me!
While losing a story or two goes with the territory of being a writer (at least in my case), I've been grappling with another story killer over the last while. Apathy - or 'Big A' as I've nicknamed it in my head. I had to look up the definition of apathy when it was brought to my attention, by someone who is trained to know these things, a few months ago (October to be exact). It is a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. And yes, that was me at the time, or what was happening to me. Oh, goody. But at least I had a name for my lack of words and at least the ability to know what I was up against.
Looking back, I can see Big A winding it's way into my life, subtly, over different circumstances last year until it jumped out in front of me yelling a big 'surprise!' and dragging a wake of chaos behind it. It had zero concern for my well-being. I was thrown completely off balance and fell into the deep end of the pool, so-to-speak. And while Big A messed with my story-telling, it also attacked my self-worth, self-confidence, self-determination, and self-love, so that everything I started to do came with the question, "does any of this really matter?" That one question can kill a lot of inspiration, creativity, social interactions, and plans if apathy is the one answering. For a while, Big A was always answering.
I did my best trying to stay afloat. At times I may have seemed busy, or distant, or uninterested. I kind of was, but not necessarily by choice. I sometimes felt like I was functioning minimally so as not to disappear altogether. My world got small, quiet, and a motivation was hard to come by. But I like to think I have genetic determination and inherent optimism. Add to that a great support group full of love and I knew I'd eventually get over this apathy thing.
The struggle has continued to be real, and while January passed unnoticed on my blog - looking like Big A might be winning - I decided to let it go so I could fight on a few different fronts. I won small battles. I started curating my photos and putting them up for sale. I revamped my website. I took on projects that I plan to complete. I even went back to school part time. And today, February 1st, I've shared this all in writing and actually hit the Publish button instead of Delete, like I've done so many times before. This really does matter! (That, is enthusiasm.)
As Big A is still hanging out, I'm getting tired and annoyed with it. I want to take pictures and write and create and be inspired. So I'll keep at my battle plan because surrender isn't part of this story. It isn't always obvious what someone is going through by what you see on the outside. We're told that all the time, but it's definitely a smack in the face when it's you going through it. And this is one reason why I share my story... because everybody has one.