One week ago I turned 18. Since then I’ve been dealing with bouts of depression by drugging myself on Queer as Folk. In a perfect world I would write “hey, guess what guys, I’m not a teenager anymore, so no more angst on this blog!” But this is not a perfect world, and I am not a perfect person. Adult angst exists. I just need to conquer it.
The other day I wrote a chapter of a project I’m working on. It absolutely sucked.
Wordiness. Horrible character introductions. Weak voice. Tangents of unnecessary emotional intensity. I wish I was being my own worst critic here, but no: it made me want to tear my eyes out.
Now that I’m 18, I feel this enormous pressure on my shoulders. I’m past my prime as the precocious teenager; it’s time for me to step up and make good of all the crap I’ve gone through. Yet it was my writing that dragged me down. If it’s my passion, why the heck was I – am I – so bad at it? Why do I still want to throw myself off a cliff every time I can’t get what I do to be 100% perfect?
And the answer arrived like
those freaking ugly cicadas in Virginia why must they exist lightning: turning 18 doesn’t change anything. In deference to my previous post, it’s a milestone, a portent of successes to strive for. But I am still that awkward person who has too much fun reading YA books and laughs at inappropriate moments in real life. I am still that one annoying guy who will cry when the character no one cares about dies. I am still that one ugly perfectionist who holds himself to a standard that is way too high – high enough to send him spiraling down when he doesn’t reach it.
I need to tell myself that it’s okay. It’s okay that my writing still isn’t as good as I want it to be. It’s okay that I’m three books behind on my Goodreads reading challenge and that I haven’t posted a review in over a week. It’s okay that I continue to fight, even as an adult, to push back unhealthy inclinations toward perfection.
No matter the age, whether it be 19, 23, or 48: a positive mind plows through any obstacle. As Lady Gaga once said – just dance, and it’ll be okay.
Anyone else have angst they’d like to get off their chest, related to aging or anything else in general? I wanted to title this post “New Adult Crisis” (get it, like “midlife crisis”, except, I’m a new adult… yeah) but I was scared people would mistake it for the new novel genre. I need to get back on the reading train – I thought that after AP exams I’d have so much time but family and Queer as Folk have proven me wrong. I need to post about QAF, my new obsession, and some societal issues I’ve been thinking about. Anyway, goodbye until next time and I hope you’re all well!