Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Textual Salvation

"Power of Words" by Antonio Litterio
I've kind of been going crazy for the last several days. Something had had been working is suddenly not working anymore, the IT people deep in the heart of a faceless corporation that I desperately need to talk to won't acknowledge my e-mails, and to top it all off I was in a constant tailspin of worry that I wasn't figuring out a way to fix these things immediately. You know, my entire future was on the line, I was blowing my chance, failure was imminent, that sort of thing. It was all I could think about, and because there was nothing I could do to fix it I had absolutely zero interest in doing anything else.

Then I had a realized that I had a metric ton of writing to do, and the deadlines were about to hit me over the head.

It was like a miracle. All of my anxiety about my future and success suddenly narrowed down to the simple fact that if I didn't get these writing assignments finished, I would be screwed in very concrete and practical ways. I'm a journalist by trade, so I respect deadlines in a way I respect few other things in my life, and here was a whole stack of them in front of me.

My worry narrowed down in a wonderful way from things I couldn't control to things I could. Even better, I could control them by writing, which is something I would rather be doing than nearly anything else in my life. I'm terrible at social interaction, marketing, long-term planning or convincing people to respect me, but I am freaking great at putting one word in front of another.

I might not have been able to fix my life, but I could absolutely sit down and wrap up the blog assignment I had finally found the perfect idea for. I couldn't predict the future, but I could definitely start slugging my way through the pile of articles I had been putting off for days that had a very immediate deadline. I had little interest in being inside my own head, but I could happily fulfill my obligation to characters whose company I vastly preferred to my own.

Writing saved me, as it has before and as it undoubtedly will again. I see a purpose in it in a way I can't always see a purpose in myself, and I can give myself over to it wholeheartedly when the inside of my head is just a little more than I can take at the moment. Every time I write an article, a story or a poem, I am validating my own existence one more time. Yes, I may be kind of messed up, but look at this awesome thing I made.

I think ... no, I hope, that Robin Williams's movies saved him for a long time. Like everyone, I wish they'd been enough to hold him here with us even longer. And I wish for you all the inexpressible gift of finding some form of expression that might help save you. 

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