I Have Limits

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I like that feeling when I hit the metaphorical wall of writing. It happens. Once upon a time, when I thought I was God’s special dingleberry, I would just believe in myself and move on. That’s pretty much what we are taught to do, right? However, the older I get, the concept of ‘myself’ becomes ephemeral, elusive, something akin to a 5-second YouTube ad you watch while waiting for whatever it is you really want to watch… and then you forget about it.

Who is ‘myself’ anyway? I don’t recognize myself, anymore.

But that’s a good thing, actually, and I am realistic rather than optimistic because this version of myself I am trying to live with is a lot more conscious of its surroundings.

I don’t believe I am God’s special dingleberry, anymore. I am just another drop in the majestic ocean of life.

Some people, after hearing that I write fiction in my spare time, praise me for having an active imagination and say they would love to be just like me. There is one problem, though. My active imagination resembles a rollercoaster that broke loose and is now rolling amok down the park, destroying the churro stand and the souvenir shop, tearing down the display where the sunglasses are, shredding the t-shirts with funny sayings and quotes from the movies, breaking windows, sprinkling fragments, showering the crowd with broken glass, penetrating right through the new Starbucks they just opened, sending a barista flying off his hat and apron (luckily he landed on one of those couches, thank God!), and finally breaking through the main exit and clashing against the wall in front of the water fountain.

That’s how my imagination looks like in any given day, a myriad of ideas simmer in the waters of my mind, fornicating among them, giving birth to even more ideas, prompting my hand to reach for my journal and scribble what’s pouring out of my mind, making notes, trying not to forget what I am thinking, while at the same time the writing turns into unreadable doddles and now I can’t even read my own words!

Fortunately, I am beginning to embrace a new fact, brought to me by this new ‘self’ who’s now taking charge: I have limits. I shouldn’t feel bad if I can’t write another chapter on the story I am working on; two weeks ago, the creative path was clear of obstructions, and I was able to write a lot. Today, the hurdles seem immense, I can’t put a noun and an adjective together, and the list of deprecatory statements that somehow explain my lack of inspiration is so loud I am going completely deaf.

But I shouldn’t worry. I’ve been down this road before.

This new persona has allowed me to separate myself from my fiction. Up until recently, I was still thinking like Galuri Outis. I was living on the edge, having cigarettes for breakfast, breaking the rules, and just being a petulant, impish and incorrigible miscreant.

Today, as a part of me sits here, at Denny’s, hidden at the last booth on the corner, my new self is taking the wheel, making me focus on the present and embracing my new way of life. It’s true, I like to write mostly about mavericks and troublemakers, only because I grew up as one. But at the end of the day, I need to be a better human being.

Apparently, I can’t whistle and eat powder at the same time.

And that’s a good thing.

Now I can go back to writing.

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