Solitude. Guilt. Chameleons.
I’ve been building my fortress of solitude for 5 months now. I was convinced that the whole thing would be done in a month, but life is stupid and doesn’t follow directions.
I had Home Depot build a shed in our backyard, and have been converting it into a place to write, create, have ideas, and just generally mope around alone. Only recently has it begun to feel like a place I can actually do that.
There is paint on a lot of the walls, and I’ve started to put my nerdy shit up there. Yeah that is a Dirty Dancing poster. Judge me and I will ruin you.
Point being, without a place that gives you comfort, how can you ever hope to achieve? This is different for everyone I am sure, but we all need something. Maybe your personality desires to always be in the company of others, and that is how you thrive. For me, if not given a healthy amount of time to myself, I stagnate, shrivel, and succumb to the darker side of myself.
This is the reason that I never wanted children. It was never that I didn’t like kids, or didn’t enjoy them. I always thought that having a child would take away my comfort zone, and I would never have another creative thought again. I think of other, much more prominent, writers, actors, comedians, etc. that changed drastically when they had children. And, for the most part, not for the better. I am sure they are thrilled with their kids, but there creative output sucks. I was so adamant about this that I had a vasectomy when i was 30.
Then I fell into a situation in which I am a caregiver to two little ones. I managed to fall in love with a girl, and that girl came as a package deal. It has now been a little over a year since I first met the little people, and my view has changed a bit. I have found that I can appreciate children on a level that I didn’t know was possible. Attempting to merge myself into their lives, to figure out how to teach them, and to assess just how I am supposed to be for them is a massive trial. Most of the time I feel that I am failing, but the process is one that is quite rewarding.
Still, I need my space. And, now I am finding that guilt is coming along with that. Why can’t I just be there with them all the time? Lindsay is supportive as hell. She really is the best thing that could have happened to me, and she gives me no hassle about spending time away. She knows that I have aspirations of becoming a successful writer, and that requires that I be alone to think. But what about those times that I am not writing, or doing anything remotely close to it? What about the times I am just playing a video game until the next thought enters my head?
I have been with no other person that is as good as Lindsay at understanding my creative process. So many people think that it’s easy. Just sit and write for 8 hours a day and make it a job. They don’t understand that staring into a wall for 3 hours imagining a small part of a story that may never actually get written is just as much of the process. Playing a videogame, or literally any other hobby or activity that helps to slow your mind down, is also a big part. So why the guilt?
I am not contributing financially as I wish I could, as work is mostly non existent. Guilt. I am not investing as much time in raising the kids as maybe I should. Guilt. I often get overwhelmed, stressed, and aggravated. Guilt.
If anyone has the answer, feel free to let me know.
And, just to end on a lighter note. Here is a joke I wrote the other day when Charlotte asked me to tell her one:
What is all wet and Red, and Green, and Yellow, and Green, and Yellow, and Red, and Orange, and Green, and Yellow, and Green, and Red…….
A: The chameleon that I just flushed down the toilet.