I missed another week of blogging. To be honest, I haven’t been feeling much enthusiastic about writing here. And it’s not because I started a second blog where I manage to blog two or three times per week. For the past several months now, I haven’t been very dedicated to this blog. I love writing here, yes, but what has affected my energy is that I don’t feel like I have anything worth writing about. Life has been just…passing. I’m getting from one day to the next. Online classes have started, I’m taking a couple of courses on FutureLearn, I’m teaching, and I’ve been thinking of making a proper plan about how to proceed with my writing.
But, honestly, life has been bland. There’s nothing very different about it. Of course, that fact isn’t helping my loneliness – the bouts have become more frequent; I seem to have at least one bad day every week. I’m functioning well; I just wish I could take a break from being able to feel sometimes. Specifically, I wish I could just turn off my hormones for a while. They like focusing too much on love, on how others have so much of it and I don’t even know what it’s like to feel that for someone, someone who feels the same way about me. I cry easily these days whenever I think about love. I was lonely before. Now I’m touch-starved too. I don’t know when all of this will end – the pandemic, this loneliness.
Earlier, I’d compared this lockdown to my gap year, but now I realize how they’re unlike each other. During my gap year, I had a deadline – I knew that a specific point, in a specific month, I would start college. With this pandemic, I don’t know what the deadline is and how far it is. The only one I know, that might or might not make much difference to this loneliness, is two years in the future, when I’ll finish my Bachelor’s and (hopefully) move to another city to pursue my Master’s. That’s gonna happen regardless of when this pandemic ends.
But considering how slow these last few months felt, two years sounds like an unbearable wait. Every bad day I have now becomes the worst day of 2020. Each time I tell myself that I’m tired and exhausted and don’t want to bear it anymore, but each time I cry and I weather it and make it to the happier days. Some might say that I can make it past what I think in the moment feels difficult to endure, but I just think it’s terrible that I have to go through it again and again. When I’m low and lonely and exhausted from crying, I don’t wanna tell myself that I’ve dealt with this before and I’ll deal with it again; I just want to feel sad and be held and find a way out of this loneliness.
There doesn’t seem to be a way, though. I hate it that I hate saying my loneliness is not because my family doesn’t love me or that I don’t have some of the best friends someone could ever ask for, but because I long for romantic companionship. And I don’t know why I hate admitting that so much. Maybe because other people are happy being single while I’m not – but then, those people aren’t like me. They’ve been in a relationship at some point in the past; they’ve been touched. They’ve known love, even if it didn’t last.
Then there’s me, who, despite having a name that means love, has never known what love is like. What it’s like to hold hands, to know that someone is thinking of you, to get a thrill from that thought, to have someone to turn to when others aren’t available, to have someone see me for who I am, with all my contradictions and enthusiasm and temporary obsessions and seriousness and flaws. I know none of that, despite my name. Not that I should get love just because that’s what my name means, but because…I’m human?
What a frustrating contradiction.
Anyway, I’m lonely and life has been boring; most of my time lately has been spent rereading and studying and teaching, and I started a separate blog about that, so I haven’t had much to write about. That’s why I’ve been posting old diary entries or random notes I made.
At the beginning of the year I’d considered book blogging, here or on a separate blog, but I haven’t done much reading lately, either. For some reason, I get stuck on a single word and read each word very carefully lest I should miss something very important to the story. Audiobooks helped me finish a few books, but I still struggle to read at a normal pace. And this is just with books. Hand me a textbook or a newspaper and I’ll be fine, read fast, even. But for some reason I just can’t focus on books; even rereading is difficult. So book reviews are out of the question, even though I love writing them.
I said in my last post that I’d start working on my writing and as a result have something to talk about, but I got a little discouraged after day one. What made me give up – or rather, rethink what I was doing before committing to a daily practice – was that I realized I still don’t have a proper idea of how short story writing works. I do recognize that there needs to be a character who should want something, and the pursuit of this want is what the story is about, but that’s just a basic idea. I have to think about and come up with an interesting character and an interesting want, and I have to tell a story, not just describe things.
That means reading more, analyzing stories, and also learning how writing works. For the former, I have a list of magazines I want to get published in, and for the latter, I’ve signed up for a free fiction writing course on FutureLearn. It’s a long course and I don’t have much spare time these days to finish it faster, but I think this is the best thing I could do for my writing right now. The three-year streak gave me better command over English and helped me become more articulate, but now it’s time to focus on a different type of writing skill: the structure of stories. It doesn’t make much sense to start another streak if I’m not learning anything new; I should do what I didn’t the last time, and that means working on my storytelling skills.
I have a test on Monday so my weekend is packed with studying, but after that I’ll make this writing course a part of my routine, and hopefully that will give me something to write about every week.