Monday, January 21, 2013
On love and heartbreak
The biggest reason why my writing is good is due to all the emotional trauma I've endured in my life, mostly from childhood and adolescence. They say life imitates art, and in my case, I think it's happened that way.
The novel I wrote in my MFA program tells a tale of a girl left broken after a traumatic event, afraid she will never be able to feel normal again. She meets an equally if not more damaged boy, who refuses to try. There is a connection between the two, an eternal spark almost that creates a very intense relationship in a short period of time. By the end, she decides to save herself. He does not. So, she is forced to let go. Unrequited love is the most tragic.
I realized last week that I had written a chapter of my real life two years before it even played out. Over Thanksgiving week of last year, that chapter came to its final page, and my relationship of a year and seven months ended.
2012 was a hard year for me. I didn't write as much as I wanted. I couldn't. There was so much I let go of that I was left with a gaping wound that ached even at the slightest movement. I let go of my family after they denied years of abuse and refused to hear my emotional truth. Then, I had to let go of my boyfriend. We both carried wounds that needed healing, and while I chose to lift myself up screaming, he instead went deeper down into a place I could not reach. He became someone dark and foreign and angry. Even though we can not be together, I still love him as a human being. I'll always love him, as I try to love everyone, because I see what's hiding, aching to come into the light. But sometimes people can't love you back in a healthy way, because they don't even love themselves, and that's when you have to do what's best for you.
When two people take different directions in life, it can be a small shift. More often than not, it isn't. There was no bridge between us--there couldn't be. God knows I tried. And so as I sit here writing this, fighting back tears about someone I couldn't save and trying to breathe around the hard knot in my throat, I realize that living the pain, working through the pain, and then writing the pain is what helps. It helps me and it helps you, the reader. It helps teenage girls who have just been dumped for the first time and are holed up in their room on a Friday night with a searing pain in their chest wondering if they'll ever be loved again. I know, because I used to be that girl. I still am that girl, even at 28. The feeling stays the same.
There is a thin, almost non-existent line between the artist and the art. Between the writer and the story. Some don't think it should be that way. Some are consumed because of it. That is the price we pay for love and heartbreak, to be poets of the human condition. I don't know when I'll be able to write again--to really write, as in working on my manuscripts. For now, this blog may take a detour to follow what happens behind the scenes when a writer is being broken, shaped, burned, polished by life. I dare say that these things are equally as important as the written words in a book of fiction.
I carry grief, I carry nothing. I wait: In a rented room, with little money, a sleepy cat, and lonely nights falling asleep to unanswered questions, a burning in my heart, and a fear of tomorrow.
In long, silent hours and heavy words left unspoken, I wait: For inspiration, for love, for strength, for life.
No matter what happens when I turn this page, I know this isn't the end.
My story still has many chapters left.