Musings of an Irrational Mind

My father once told me that the way I viewed life would one day make sense to me. It would not always be a curse. There was a uniqueness to it that I couldn’t see.

I have always gone through life, feeling at a distance from everything. Some called it wisdom. Others called it indifference. My life, in my mind, played out like words on a page. I was both reader and character. Memories were not seen through my own eyes; rather, I saw them from a distance, watched myself go about life. I took pride in it while I was a child, feeling grown up in my lack of emotion. I hated it as a teenager, using pain to try and draw myself out. Just as I had settled down with it, it left me.

Love, of all things, scares me. It makes me suffocate those parts of me that are vital to my survival so that I can be the person someone else wants. What I keep forgetting is that my DF doesn’t want the person I think he wants. He doesn’t want someone who agrees with him all the time. He doesn’t want someone who never argues (and never tells him what’s wrong). He doesn’t want me to change who I am. But that’s what has happened. I am so afraid of losing love that I have begun to lose myself.

I am a book person by default. I devour books. They entrap my mind and enslave my soul. I cannot put them down. They are my escape when I am hurting. They are my muse when I am empty. They are my mentor when I am lost. I need books. And I was ashamed of it. It isn’t easy being a bookworm, being a nerd. I got the queries for cheat sheets. I got asked to write essays for money. I was made fun of when I was grounded from reading, or when I was caught with a book beneath my desk. As I grew, I began to believe that books were a hinderance to me. Boys made fun of me. My mother disapproved. When I read, I was lost in my own world, kept away from everything else. Books seemed to be the problem.

All of these things crashed down on me, two summers ago. I found a tenuous thread of love, and I found the terror of scorn for my nerdiness. I didn’t want to lose him. I didn’t want to lose my books. As in all classic tales, he won. At the same time, he lost. I lost. Slowly, without me noticing, I began to lose myself. My world grew grayer, my memories fuzzy. For a while I indulged my cravings, reading books late into the night instead of studying, weaving words of my own together in fanciful pictures of my soul. Turmoil and strife defined me. Kept me grounded. Kept me sane. Then, DS was born and the world was right. There was still bitterness and drama and the struggle of relationships, but there was happiness. I found my “calling” and found my support. I couldn’t resist the pull of words anymore. I gave in, knowing I was risking everything. To my surprise, the man who cannot stand to read was the one pushing me towards my desire. Everything was right in the world.

I got lazy. I got content. I stopped reading, figured that I knew what I was doing. Writers didn’t need to read in order to write. The words flowed from their minds, bled from their fingers. But I was wrong. I lived in a house that perpetually was flooded with tv. It had to be on. It was their own sort of drug, a flickering giant that held their minds in a lock. It stole mine. Suddenly, I felt nothing. I didn’t even have the feeling of watching myself. I was an empty shell moving throughout her day, trying to find the courage to love and to care. The world held no color, held no life. My writing became strained and dull. The scenes played out like a screenplay, filled with more motions and gestures than colors and thoughts. I could feel myself dying even as I was surrounded by everything I could ever want.

My father once told me that the way I viewed life would one day make sense to me. It would not always be a curse. There was a uniqueness to it that I couldn’t see. Now I understand. What I viewed as wisdom and as a curse was nothing more than my purpose in life. I see things through a different filter. Not all writers may feel this, I’m sure. I’ve never heard of anyone else who has. It leaves me feeling slightly powerless and more than a little crazy. Whatever the cause, it is my path. I live my life as a story, rolling words around in my head even as I roll my DS around on his belly. Without books, without this other sense, I am merely a puppet acting out the expected roles. Now that I know, I will not lose it. I lost it once and nearly lost everything I had. I would prefer to love from a distance than not love at all. I would prefer to connect only when I have words on a page than to wander lost and numb. My father told me one day this would all make sense.


About S. G. Ricketts

I am a dreamer. This page holds all of the dreams and desires and hopes and wishes of the first of my two dreams: to share my imagination with the world. For those of you who have read a book or written a book, these stories are not merely words on a page. They are living, breathing creatures, worlds so compellingly real that you can smell the sweat and feel the rain. This is what I want to share ...with all of you. Yes, becoming rich and famous would be fabulous. I won't deny that. However, it would be so much more satisfying to see my book in the hands of someone on the bus, hear my book talked about at a restaurant, see a cluster of fan-art. I want to inspire the mind to imagine different worlds and different situations. If I can achieve that, I will have achieved my dream.

Posted on February 27, 2010, in Musing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I have the same type of memories as you described. Where I am detached and watching the world as it was- watching myself and those I love. I’ve always had that as well, along with my love for books. Until I feel in love. It’s astonishing the things we will give up to try to focus on one person. When we probably don’t even need to give it up in the first place. If they love us, they would understand. And yet, we seem to think that they won’t, and try to fit into a box that we ourselves made, out of our vauge understanding of the men we love. But this changes who we are, as you realized, though many don’t. The struggle is to decided what to do about it. And our mind’s are always playing tricks on us, telling us that we should conform to those around us, that we don’t need books. Telling us that we need to more personal, and that being detached is bad. But its not. It is how God made us, and how he wants us to be. Books are a window to the world, not to hid behind as many think, but to explore the world from every angle.

  2. It’s funny how people can have such similar and different experiences with the same things at the same time. I’ve always been entrapped in various book worlds too, but in thinking through the reasons why, it’s never been because I’m too detached from the world around me. Rather, I always fling myself into the emotional experience, except when I’m afraid. Now the fear thing happens rather often since disappointment and brokenness are so common. But in books, you let yourself trust the author to take the characters, and you as the reader, to a place that if not happy, at least is right for the story. As for the desire to be immersed in the world of a book, I love that it captures all of your mind. You aren’t thinking about the things that dissatisfy you in real life. It’s a real, beautiful adventure in which you become anyone or anything. It’s like a drug, this other life. I know what you mean by thinking that was bad. It seems wrong to desire to live a life other than my own. In middle school and high school so often I felt lonely; little was vivid, including relationships. I’ve still never experienced love, except for friends and family which I value so highly. Now in college, I don’t have time to read, outside of school things. So I made my major something that will never allow me to have a job relating to it unless I go into academia (yay Medieval Studies, English and History!). I dream about things that haven’t happened with people I’m actually friends with, and while I’ve always done that, it’s much more common now that I’m not also caught up in a book with a story that truly draws me in (as in fantasy, hist. fic, or scifi). I’m still trying to reconcile how I feel about that. Someday I too will be writing seriously. For some reason, I don’t feel ready yet. I’m not sure if it’s fear, although that must be a factor, or the deep gut-feeling that I haven’t lived enough life to write with a rich well of experiences and memory-spurring imagination.

    I guess the reason I thought to reply was I was, of course, procrastinating on a Chaucer paper and saw the link to your page on fb. I also have a wordpress–just haven’t done much with it other than the short story sketches from my class last semester. I think I’ll try to keep it more updated, but I really appreciated the sentiments you expressed here. You’re a really great writer and I’m excited to see what you come up with! Fortunately, I do already like scifi so I’m already convinced it’s worthwhile. 🙂

    • Thanks Jess. Honestly though, I think writing isn’t so much about the experience (although that helps) as it is about the ability to pretend you have the experience. Writing is merely acting with words. You have to become your character, see through their eyes, imagine what they feel. I’ve seen you do that in drama, and you’re a natural. Maybe the thing that’s holding you back is fear. That’s what held me back for so long. I was afraid I wouldn’t get it right, or that it would fall flat, or that it would sound stupid. I’m currently battling the “stupids.” That’s why I put up this post. 😛 But fear is what makes writing so beautiful. It is a bungee-jump off a bridge, just like any other job. And I do consider it a job. This is, as you said, what I am meant to do. Writing is what I live for. It took me a while to come to terms with it, but once I started I couldn’t stop. (And I know what you mean about choosing a major that won’t get in the way of reading. I’m an English major too… hehe. But hey, you gotta have some lit background if you want to become a literary agent/editor/writer/whatever-that-has-to-do-with-words. 🙂 )

      I can’t wait to read what you have to say, Jess. You’re such an eloquent lady, and I’m sure that transfers to your writing. Thanks for the comment, girly.

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