And here's mine...
I am a very honest, but very quiet person when it comes to the demons in my head. I always try to put my best foot forward, especially in public. It's one of the hardest struggles of my every day life. Waking up and putting on my suit of armor for my husband, kids, family, and friends comes at a cost to myself but something I need to do... for them.
Growing up I always felt isolated. I would make friends and then lose them without reason. I always felt like an outsider looking in at a happy life just beyond my reach. How could this be normal for a child? How did I even know what depression was? I was still too young. I was still innocent. But my mind wasn't. It was riddled with fear, pain, sadness, and on rare occasions, complete bliss. My favorite memories are of watching the sunrise and set albeit I was alone, but it was just so damn beautiful and peaceful and it made my mind quiet for just a few minutes. And then at the same time it would break my freakin heart. This was the daily cycle of my life. I don't know it any different. I feel more than "normal" people feel. Mean words don't just cut me, they break me. Love lifts me up and then crushes me to the point where I don't think I can breathe anymore.
And then there are my dreams...
I took solace in writing at the youngest of ages. I peeked back at my diaries a while back (one from 1987) and it nearly broke me. I was ten years old and I hated my life. I hated myself. At ten. The things I wrote were so sad and dark. It made me realize I am never going to change. I'm never going to feel like normal minds because mine was never normal. My behaviors might change, but to the very core of me I was not normal.
My writing evolved into poetry, always dark in nature, but so freakin beautiful. At least to me. It helped me express what I couldn't say. I still lacked solid friendships, but I had my words and it kept me grounded in some way. It kept me here.
I found another avenue that helped me feel "better". Acting. I loved it. Everything about it. I could put all of my pain into an amazing performance and still hide who I was. I devoured it. I wrote plays and put all of me into my passion. Into MY dream. I was going to do this for the rest of my life. Act and write and try to be happy. I transferred to USC, enrolled in the theatre department and took writing classes on the side. I found a talent agent, I went on auditions, I filmed shorts, almost booked a pilot... I was trying. I was ignoring the voices in my head that said I would fail. That I couldn't. I worked my ass off at school during the day, auditions in between, and waiting tables at night. I was living the dream, only after the years drifted by I wasn't living the dream. I was struggling. Every rejection cutting me down. A few inappropriate propositions later I realized I wasn't strong enough. I didn't have it in me to be what I needed to be to make it. I was broken. I left the industry, retreating to to solace and isolation of my younger years. I finished my degree, got married, had kids, and abandoned all hopes of a dream come true.
Ignoring my dreams, my passion, chisled away at my sanity slowly over the years. I should be happy. I was blessed with a man who loves me more than he should and 2 completely healthy children, which not everyone can say. I was lucky. So then why do I still feel so damaged? Again, I was the little girl looking at the world from a different view wondering why the smiles I have can't be real. Why I can't feel happy rather than just pretend to be.
After 10 years I finally went back to the voices in my head. I started writing again. My passion reignited with the first word written and then the dream again. I dumped my soul into my story. I lined up my marketing strategies. I handed out my money like candy on Halloween night. This was going to happen. This time I would see my dream realized. This would happen. I wouldn't give up because people would finally see me. I wouldn't be on the outside anymore. People would know me.
I'm writing this because I tried. I invested my heart, my soul, my money, my friendships, all of me into this. Into my writing. Into my ONLY dream. I'm not an overnight success. In the book world I'm still considered a nothing. My sales are obsolete, my following small. But I'm here. I feel like stealing the internet microphone and screaming "I'm freakin here. Just see me. Give me a chance." But I'm still waiting. I'm still writing. And I'm still struggling daily. Still trying to understand why I would be given such a deep passion for something for it to fall flat. To chase a dream for over 20 years and still be screaming, "Just see me". I write this because I'm still here. I'm still trying. And I won't give up even if the world has given up on me.
I'm still here.