“For the next thirty years or so I will be collecting material… If anyone asks me what I work at, I shall say ‘Collecting material.’ No one can object to that.”
This quote from Stella Gibbons surfaced on my Tumblr feed earlier this year. I saw it and instantly reblogged it because I felt really connected to it. I had no idea the context of the quote, who Stella Gibbons is, or why I held a strong connection to it. Now I can see that it was just fuel for my creative procrastination.
I read a lot. I always have, because it’s one of my favorite things to do and brings me joy and makes me think. But I think I am thinking too much using other people’s thoughts. And that’s why I’m having this identity crisis.
As my roommate so graciously reminded me, every young girl is experiencing this phenomenon. I see it in the fake-deep comments posted on all the blogs I read; empty, flowery sentiments that young girls use to try to convey their wrapping their head around other people’s realities that mirror our own. We are all having an identity crisis. Or, at least people like me are having it. I’m not sure what the common thread is between me and other girls who think way too much other than the fact we think way too much.
And when I used to think too much and create, it was fine. There was an outlet for those thoughts and I could feel proud of whatever song or Polly Pocket world I came up with. I could see the physical manifestation of my thoughts and that was really important. Now that I am thinking more than ever, I have way less time to put any of those thoughts into outlets. But I think that it’s really important to have these outlets and make time for them, because they are essential to sanity.
I used to think making playlists, watching youtube videos, and delving into a good book or blog post would suffice in my quest to find an outlet for my thoughts. This is a flawed way of thinking. The whole part of creating is actually using your own brain and words to get out a message. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing anything I mentioned above but I need to stop using other people’s creativity to guise the lack of my own. I need to write more blog posts, journal entries, and responses to other people’s thoughts. I need to generate my own original opinions. I need to paint and draw and not try to make it like anyone else’s.
I will say one thing I need to keep doing is wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts every day because it makes me feel most myself: I am not confined to a personality when I am wearing navy on black and covered in college paraphernalia. I am also really comfortable but that’s not relevant here. But I think taking a break from wearing real clothes and just focusing on my mind and what’s going on in there has been helpful in easing my anxiety.
So fuck collecting material! I’m making my own material.