Writing The Difficult Things

blossom blur close up dandelion

I never wanted to write what everyone else wrote. No, I needed to express the topics everyone thinks about at one time or another, but either don’t have the words to describe or the guts to relate. Yet, as a writer, lately I’ve reduced myself to revisiting past scribblings of topical articles, delving deep into trivial things I only seem to care about just for the sake of continuing to keep the writing gears grinding.

Too often, I shy away from writing the difficult things. I scare myself with my own insights sometimes; eventually, my little diversions entice me to take note of them, then leave them ignored in the depths of my archives for the sake of my own sanity. Truthfully, none of us can predict the time we have left, and as I continue to persist, I surely I have plenty left to say that needs to be said.

Yet, I feel so much of what I stand to write may not be fit for public consumption. Much of what I’ve written over the past few months may not come to light for decades, if it ever does at all. I’ve been wrong about so much, but for the right reasons. Too often, I’ve turned to the allure of rhetoric to make myself feel better about my opinions; but, now, no longer restricted by the need to pose as a freelance hopeful, it’s well past time for me to become a straight shooter with my prose.

There are things in between the lines which will reveal themselves when the time is right. Now, there is a line once I cross I must never retreat behind again, where the true artist reveals herself for all the ugly she has been in order to eventually evolve into the beauty she longs to be. Language fails me for adequate description, but for what I may appear on the outside, it is but a shell for the terrible things that often brew within my troubled skull.

I spent years trying to use my powers of prediction for things that didn’t really matter in order to impress others. Yet, I found my failures weren’t just to make me look foolish, but to teach me not to waste my time with frivolous matters. I was born to uncover the uglier side of human nature, to undress the beast for what it is, without compunction; yet, pity, both from others and within myself, has often kept me from calling the shots. Much of what I thought was selfless compassion was pity selfishly disguised. I even fooled myself with my own self-pity and found myself giving into it far too often, becoming a bad habit of mine.

There is a hidden side to everything, and much of it is both wonderful and gross. What we see as motivations are often just the surface of deeper truths. The actions we take are often seen as causes that betray seemingly inevitable effects, yet we have much more control over the outcome than we first realize. Once we realize we don’t have control over outside stimuli and that we are, in fact, influencing the result through our own perceptions, this is when truth begins to reveal itself for those who are patient.

Much of what we think are causes are actually correlations towards highly potential outcomes, but not necessarily the end result. That is to say, you are not your past; rather, the past informs every step that you take, whether forwards or backwards. So, it is often better to step sideways to get a somewhat different angle. From there, you must then take the best information you have available to you and make your choices based on what you know. You can’t look back in hindsight and regret your choices if you made the best informed choice at the time. Unfortunately, as is the case for many of us, I’ve made very few well-informed decisions, and the vast majority led to my downfall more often than not.

I am far from the first to come to these realizations; but, without the benefit of sufficient life experience laden with countless hard knocks, I lacked the mental fortitude to turn them into concrete conclusions. Life is a shared experience; to believe we are completely in control of even our own thoughts is a selfish desire. A broken heart is a but a symptom of a lack of foresight. But, what is fault but an excuse to feel bad for ourselves?

Point A to Point B may appear as a straight line, but it rarely is. Instead, our journey between two points is often more of a curve, adjusting often invisibly based on the array of outcomes we allow into our journey. That is to say we can exclude things and include others often without realizing, but those unseen factors are still there; unless we come to perceive them, they will affect us without warning.

When we are awake, we are living out a shared experience of billions of souls. What we do during our so-called waking hours stands as a testament to others. But, when we are asleep, we live unconsciously in between possibilities. I’ve long been aware of the possibility for parallel worlds where one difference in making a seemingly trivial choice changes the entire flow of reality. Yes, choosing the wrong thing to eat for breakfast can cause a catastrophic chain of events that leads to irreversible ruin.

Perhaps, once you come to all of these overwhelming conclusions about existence, it becomes the best course to turn away from the complex and sometimes toxic relationships within human society. Instead, it becomes much more soul charging to bask in the simplicity of nature; indeed, indulging in exploring the complexities of relationships between flora and fauna that can consume entire human lifetimes of study. It is past due time where I take a more active voice in expressing the pains of Mother Earth, whose dust we emerged from and which we will all one day return.

My mind often drifts to memories of highway trips, the big green signs meant to tell me where I’m at and where I might be going if I stay on that route. Lest we forget that these are man-made markers. When I return to places from my past now, they seem to be but replicas of the places I remember. The signposts that name these streets sometimes helpfully post relative directions; other times, they denote what once stood alongside that road, and perhaps still does in some state of decay. Many roads bear family names of those long passed on and since often forgotten.

As I’ve traveled across so much of this northern American continent, I do not see the wonders that are promised by chambers of commerce travel brochures. Instead, I spy only the scars of human enterprise, places of business which have either been outright abandoned or co-opted by more depraved endeavors. Others have burned to the ground, rightfully returning their constituent elements to the earth and air; eventually, even the sea, however distant, reclaims her long trapped moisture.

These words I write now may indeed be but desperate ravings or actual work of creative genius – maybe both, maybe neither. Only time will tell how History will remember us; but, never forget that history is written by those who believe themselves to be the victors. Yet, the hidden histories, the butterfly effects caused by breezes of change, like a child blowing away the seeds of a picked dandelion, still affect the outcomes all the same.

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.
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