It’s been four months since I’ve sat down and written something that wasn’t a poem. This feels weird.
I’d be lying if I said I have that fire for writing as much as I used to. The time I’ve spent in between this and the completion of “Where Do We Go From Here?” has left me as a different person, and as I try to outgrow the past and move forward from my unhealthy habits, writing is one of the few strings I haven’t been able to cut, for obvious reasons.
I should clarify, I don’t think my love for storytelling is fading. I still want to write, but for the time being, I don’t know where I stand as me anymore.
Writing had become an outlet for me that was everything, it was the only thing I felt like I “owned.”
I thought the hardships I faced combined with my depression/anxiety created Steven Keehner “The Writer.” I think it’s legitimate, as the experiences I’ve been through have, largely, contributed to who I am now. It can definitely manifest through my writing. But within that, comes a dilemma that’s lingered over me throughout the past couple of months: is suffering necessary for success?
I don’t know the answer. I’m fucking 20 (I’m not a teenager anymore. Isn’t that wild? I’m getting old.)
What I know now is that writing has taken me far. It’s brought me friends, wonderful experiences, and a few awards, too. So what do I make of something that is fueled through negative aspects of me I’m trying to outgrow, but brings me success? I’ve been evaluating the argument of “selling out” for money instead of pursuing happiness throughout the entire history of this column, but have I been missing the issues right in front of me?
So yeah, that’s been my summer. Real exciting, right?
I shouldn’t downplay myself. I won’t downplay myself. My summer has been interesting; for the sake of not spending 500 words on listing accolades and other stupid bullshit you don’t want to read, here are the highlights to speed this up:
Broke up with my partner. I flat out stopped eating for about two weeks and lost 10 pounds.
I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I started taking Zoloft. “Holy fuck, this is amazing. I don’t feel like perishing anymore.” -Me, at some point in the month following my prescription. #ThanksZoloft
Social Media fucked me up, so I hit the gym. A lot.
Regained the 10 pounds because not wanting to die anymore builds up an appetite.
Lost 15 pounds from working out every day (20 more to go!)
I built confidence and made new friends that I didn’t expect making.
I started playing the guitar! Her name is Osa.
I went to a fuckton of gigs and had a blast doing so.
I posted actual photos of myself on Instagram!
This was my most eventful summer. But more significantly, it was my most important summer.
For the first time, I feel like I’m the protagonist of my existence, as weird as that sounds. I feel confident in myself, in a way I never had. I can say that I love myself. It’s a beautiful thing that makes me so, so happy.
I learned the most valuable lesson about love to this point: love is more than just what a girlfriend, boyfriend, or any partner can offer you. It can come from a friend, family member, an important person, or fucking anyone; while that affection may be presented in different ways, it’s all created equal, and that means a lot.
I wouldn’t have got through anything if I didn’t have the greatest support cast ever. I neglected that love for so long, thinking unless it resulted in sex, it wasn’t worth considering. But relying on one person for that is not only dangerous and reckless for me but unrealistic and unfair to ask of another human.
Call it growing up or not being a total fucking asshole, but all I can be that I’m sorry for those I’ve done wrong. I’m trying (and doing) better.
Looking back on the previous two years, they almost don’t feel real. All the experiences, moments, and memories seem like dreams that weren’t legitimate. I lost myself, and because of many problems in my past relationship (which out of respect for my ex, I won’t divulge into), I became a very bitter and angry person to hide the anxiety and sadness I was feeling.
Self-growth has become the name of my game. I’m not staying up until 5 a.m every night panicking over death and heartbreak that hadn’t even happened yet, or not taking care of myself anymore. I want to be better. And not to impress someone who isn’t worth it, but for myself.
Thank you for reading. I love you all. See you soon!