Really, it won’t. And we all want a thing of some sort. A new job, a partner, a shiny car, a bigger house, a better body, to get picked for something, to feel special. There not bad things, not in of themselves. They are meaningless really, just things. Get them if you want to, nothing’s stopping you really (except yourself usually – at least that’s true in my case), just know that when you get there and your holding your pretty new thing in your hands that you won’t feel a damn bit better about yourself.
We’re sneaky bastards see, we follow ourselves around, we are all our own crappy stalker. Go to the new job, guess who’s going to be there? Get that new partner and I can promise you are going to show up quick smart. Achieve that goal, it will be yummy for about half a second then you’ll notice your own face staring back in the reflection of that trophy.
I am looking at myself this week and asking, why have you stopped submitting? Why? You know the rules, you know your work has to be out there by the dozen times ten for you to get the odd one past an editor and into print. So why am I sitting with notebooks full of work that I don’t even want to type up never mind send out? Is it self sabotage? Yes, yes that’s a true thing about me, I sabotage all the time, get into things then stop, it’s a pattern, I own it. But I think it’s something else too.
Last year I just wanted to get published once. I thought it would fix me. I thought it would mean I was worth something. I thought it would mean there was a point to my place on this weird planet. I thought it would mean people would like me a little bit extra. I thought it would mean I would feel like a grown-up. I thought it would make me a bit prettier/thinner/smarter and altogether more shiny. And it did, until it didn’t.
I took myself with me. My published poem self was still myself. I still had to get up and deal with me day in day out and one, two, three poems published didn’t change that. It did not fix me because me had a problem – a problem also called me.
Me who wanted to be fixed was never going to get fixed, not from all the things, pretty though they are. Me who wanted to be fixed would always have to turn around and deal with me who wants to kick the shit out of other me. Oh. So kicking shit me is a problem that poems can’t fix. Kicking shit me is a problem that nothing can fix, nothing outside anyway. Kicking shit me is something I’m going to have to handle on my own, the things can’t help me, the things are just clutter on the journey.
I don’t blame kicking shit me, she’s just a kid really, a scared one. She needs something, we all need something, but I think it must be an inside something because the outside somethings don’t work, they don’t fix you, not really, not fixed with a life time guarantee.
The moral of the story is don’t listen to me, I haven’t got a bloody clue what’s going on but maybe don’t kick the shit out of yourself either, it might be good advice.