People are complicated. We all know how true this is because we’ve existed as long as we can remember in our own head. What goes on inside of there is nothing short of miraculous. Neurons firing in unique patterns; creating habits, mannerisms, and personality. Chemicals combining to stimulate thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Trillions of interactions making up an individual mind. Unique. Beautiful. Mesmerizing. Confusing.
Within all its complexity, the mind struggles to find itself. To separate the “out there” from the “in here.” What is it that makes me, me? What makes my thoughts my own and not just the product of chemical circumstance? What causes me to push against certain ways of being and strive to be something more? To better reflect the inside me to the outside they? To simultaneously drop my insecurities, personal biases and bad habits while also embracing who I am?
The answer to these questions is different for each one of us. There is no secret formula for sorting though the mess of memories, personality, genetics, upbringing, culture, and life choices that have made us who we are. For me, I find myself in writing stories. Stories that imagine the internal struggle of others. How they think, feel, and struggle in their own unique way. How that struggle pushed them to act. To make choices. To reject some things and embrace others. To pursue certain relationships and ideologies. Imagining these things in a fictional character allows me to come to terms with who I am, who I was, and who I am becoming.
I know that writing fiction is not the answer for most people. But I do believe that we all have something that can anchor us in this way. A flow that connects the trillions of outside messages that bombard us with the chaotic churn we call “me”.
If you find yourself feeling lost, alone, scared, neglected, lonely, or numb. I urge you to find your flow. Find what connects the inside you with the outside they. Find what helps you express the thoughts that roam unfettered and unanswered through your mind. Write, draw, paint, dance, sing, sculpt, play, or code. We all have a drive to create within us. Don’t let experience or skill keep you from expressing it. Those things will come with time. Struggle with the questions, the pain, and the uncertainty life brings you. But don’t stop there. Find where you exist in it all. Find your flow.