This is a journal entry that I haven’t been looking forward to. Couple of reasons. Chief among them being my whole identity has been challenged by a single question. Something Sofia asked me last night. She asked it and simultaneously ended an hour-long conversation; she spoke those final words.
“Do you even like writing, or do you like when people think you’re good at writing?”
Tonight, I made a beat. And a bassline. It sounds okay. It’s sort of ripped off, with the same samples found from a Youtube tutorial. The beat is mine. The bassline is mine. I’m proud of it. I had a lot of fucking fun making it, too. I ran today. I had a lot of fun doing that. On the forth lap, I almost stopped. I looked at my phone to stop the Strava activity. I saw that I had only gone 24 minutes. I decided to go another lap around the neighborhood. I finished my fifth lap, my third mile, and my thirtieth minute and I felt proud. I cooked honey garlic chicken with roasted new potatoes tonight. It came together perfectly. Everything was heated through, seasoned well, timed correctly, and tasted good.
I did a lot of things that I like today. Writing was not among that list of thing. It hasn’t been for the last two weeks or more. I’m writing now, sort of, but I haven’t decided if I enjoy it or not. I’m trying to parse all of this. So much of my identity has been stitched into writing. It has been the liferaft that carried me through the darkest times of my life. It has been the goal to snatch above my head in a bid to grasp, simultaneously keeping my feet out of the alligator pit. But Fia asked me that question, and I didn’t know what to say. I turned over and I went to sleep. I couldn’t cram my brain into the box constructed by that question. Instead of trying, I turned away from it. I’m glad she isn’t mad at me for that.
It’s not a wholesale truth. I have had genuinely enjoyable times writing. I’ve enjoyed the process, and the product. But when she asked me what she asked, it forced me to reflect on all of the things I’ve done with this supposed talent for writing that I have. More often than not, I haven’t really enjoyed it. I didn’t particularly enjoy writing scripts. I didn’t particularly enjoy writing storyboards. Or free-form narrative. I enjoyed writing little things here and there. But mostly not. That’s a freaky fucking thought.
Sofia said she envied me for knowing so firmly what I wanted to do with my life. She was jealous that I knew and she didn’t know. Now she’s the one that has a timeline leading us across the country and leading her into another classroom. An office with a framed degree on the wall. I’ve firmly swiveled my cannon toward a red-and-white cloth target that says “deadbeat.” But I’m having a good time with music production. That’s something, right? So much of my life is music. Fia also asked me if I knew how to differentiate between ‘hobby’ and ‘career.’
Fuck if I know. But that was obvious.