Monday, August 9, 2010

Nearly a week. and... nothing but soul searching

I'm starting to feel rather down now, but maybe it's just that I want to sleep.

I've been blogging for almost a week now and this is the impact I've made: five profile views. Absolutely no followers.

As much as I enjoy blogging, I never really enjoyed the idea of writing for myself. Not even my book. Since I was really small, everything I wrote was presented to someone to see. My mom (for honest crit) and my gran (full out support) were my favourite recipients. After I got the idea of short stories down, I wrote every assigned task with the idea that someone else is going to read this, namely my teacher.

I would ask, what am I supposed to do? What do you want to see on the blog... but... alas you are not here. So the empty house reverberations continue, leaving me to fight a slight sense of panic.

What if... the same happens with my book... What if... I write all of it and no one cares. Should I even care at this stage of the game? I think so... everything I write comes straight from my heart. Repeating this process again and again and again without anyone actually seeing this makes me feel... well... terribly lonely.

When people tell you that you should blog, they never warn you about the beginning days. The writing isn't hard. The honesty isn't hard. Sharing experiences isn't hard. But blogging to yourself is. It sucks. Big time... So much so that I'm wondering why I'm doing this to myself.

Generally, when the world turns its back on me, I want to turn my back on the world (that cynicism is acting up again). But... that's cowardice. That's me running at the first sign of resistance. I can't have that either. I mean, getting this book published will be filled with obstacles. If I don't learn to stick to something through the difficult parts, I might as well stop writing all together.

I guess, someone reading might think... jeesh, she's taking things way out of line, but then, there is something you should know about me. For most of my life, everything I ever tried my hand at, turned to at least moderate  success. I excelled academically for as long as I care about academics. I got distinctions for my ballroom. I had provincial colours at table tennis and I was, if I say so myself, a very good fencer. I maintained a 97% average for university level Mandarin - while spending less than twenty minutes of preparation per test. The thing is, I always have so many things that I want to do, that I can never do everything at the same time. So... when I get bored, which happens often enough, I move on to and excel at something else.

Conversely, if I don't enjoy something, for example my degree, nothing works to get me working on it... So... I am probably one of very few people with near genius IQ's that actually failed three subjects that they understand as if they wrote the textbook. This includes Actuarial Sciences. I try to do better, and last semester I did do better. But I just never live up to my family's expectations of my results.

I am very sorry about that, and I did a lot of soul searching about this. As I am writing this, I am coming to a realisation about myself that I have been looking for for years. This realisation scares me.

In high school, I was the smartest girl that anyone has ever met.  I'm not saying this to brag, it's just a sentiment that has been drilled into my mind by almost all of my acquaintances. I have been described as scary smart. Anyway... this smart girl never ever knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. Aptitude tests show that I could become anything I like. Whether I'm left or right brained seems to depend on my moods. So... I never had that thing where I thought: hmm... I'm good at math... I want to become a teacher... Instead I looked at what I enjoyed and that was... drama. A collective gasp rose from those nearest and dearest to me... My mind... wasted on drama... The genetic lottery gambled away... So... listening to the prodding of others, I set passion aside and chose to follow the smell of money.

In February 2007 I was one of the few that were selected for the Actuarial Science course. I had to March to adapt the degree. I didn't. And Misha Gericke, the girl who always had somewhere in mind, who excelled at everything she did, who never made a decision that didn't work to her benefit, made the biggest mistake in her entire life.

Oh... I know this now, of course, but there's this old adage: "Retrospect always comes too late." It took me six months to realize that I didn't really like the course. It took me another six to wonder whether the money I was going to earn on qualification would be worth my doing the work. Six months after that, I was scrambling to salvage the scraps of my soul. My decision to choose money over what I love nearly destroyed me. It took away the foundations of almost all of my dreams. It took away a large part of who I thought I was. It left me with a stranger.

In 2008 I remember spending quite a lot of time, wondering who I was. Sure, I was still a scary smart kid, but it was never something I wanted to be define me. The young, success orientated business minded ambitious woman on the edge of her dreams was gone. In stead there is a very lost little girl, scared of the day she's going to have to make a choice, because the last choice she made cost her nearly everything.

It's half way through 2010 and this is what I have:
  • If I could have anything in life... it would be a life on my terms, where my last words will be: "I lived."
  • I know that I'm smart, but to me, trying to use my mind to chase after money is unhealthy if not dangerous.
  • the only reason I got through the aftermath of the decision was because I reached to God instead of anything or anyone else.
  • I'm a very very very good leader.
  • I'm a very good public speaker (in fact I love speaking in front of crowds)
  • I am loyal, fair and very very complicated.
  • I will never be able to understand myself.
  • If I can't understand myself, I shouldn't expect others to understand me either.
  • I love writing. It makes me happy.
  • despite all my walls and strong personality, I have weaknesses too.
  • while writing this I realized the greatest weakness of them all. It's so big, it almost scares me to write it down. But realizing this has put a lot of things into perspective. I never really measured my success by money. I measured it by the recognition of others.
That explains why I can think of exactly one composition that wasn't intended to be read. It explains why I got so shit lost. I fell for the what would the others think nonsense. Even while somewhat annoyed by the fact that people seem to look at a single facet of who I am and think that it's all of me, I am perversely glad that at least that part of me is gaining recognition. Even if that part of me isn't good. That's why I hate when people don 't like me, even when I refuse to admit the fact to myself. That's why I hate when people compare me to someone else - especially when they're wrong. For heaven's sake, there's a part of me that measures the future choices of my life by what I will tell my future grand children.

It explains why I am in fact not living on my terms. Because I'm looking too much at what others are thinking of me.

And, armed with this piece of truth, I look around me in my minds eye, and find myself on the edge of a precipice. Writing for publishing is about recognition. Someone out there will have to recognize my skill as a writer. What if they don't? Will I be left eighteen months from now having to completely redefine myself after having picked up shattered pieces again?

I don't know. I guess I should try to measure my success by something else, but what if it's hardwired into who I am?

I guess that the only thing I can do is to just do my best to get followers for my blog and not get hit so hard by the apparent lack of interest. I'm sure that someone out there cares enough that he or she will stumble across my attempts and join me in the experience. Maybe it's just coincidence that they haven't stumbled across me already....

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