The Beginning of a Journey

If you were expecting a blog about sailing or the ocean, you’ve come to the wrong place. Still, please do enjoy your stay.

I find myself, yet again, facing the dashboard of a brand new blog, putting a word in front of the other, preparing the first post. Preparing the year ahead. Preparing yet another attempt at trying to make something more of myself besides a translation student, a young woman (it’s still strange to call myself a woman; girl is more comfortable, less formal, less grown up. Despite my eagerness to be a grown up, it still scares me), a moody introvert, a dreamer who wants more from life but is too afraid to get it. Someone who is lost in the vastness of it all, yet doesn’t want to follow others and only does so when she thinks there is no other way. No one said that getting what you wanted was hard, only that it was possible. Why not try, even if I have to do it again and again?

And maybe that’s what truly counts, really. That I tried. Not many people have the luxury to say that. At least I tried.

I was, what, 14 when I started trying? Maybe 15 or 16? I don’t remember. I don’t regret any of those attempts. I think I’d regret it more if I hadn’t tried. Because at least now I’m a bit wiser than I was before, thanks to those attempts. I’m 20 now, 21 in March. I think about how much time has passed, how quickly and, at the same time, how slowly. About how much I grew, about how much people around me got older without me noticing, about the friends I lost and gained. I look around, and behind, me and realize that life goes on whether you want it to or not. That life is finite, painfully short, a miracle and a curse. Life can make you cry in one moment and laugh in the other.

Life can drown you or take you somewhere amazing. And I’ve come to realize that it depends on how well you navigate. What is life besides a grand ocean we must try to navigate using only our heart as a compass, our mind as a map, and, sometimes, the stars when we are lost?

Right now, I’m not thinking long-term. I have a map of where I want to go this year, but not of the destination. I have a route, but it doesn’t have a specific end. I think this will take some pressure off of me; this way, no matter where I am at the end, it’s a victory. What matters is getting to the end.

I will write out my full plan in another post, but here’s the gist of it: I will make 2017 the year I started dedicating myself seriously to writing. Sure, I’ve done NaNoWrimo in the past, but I’ve never finished a project (and I don’t mean getting to 50k words, I mean editing the project even if I don’t end up publishing it). I’ve always started projects, but always had trouble finishing anything longer than a short story. I’ve always abandoned my blogs, some sooner than others. I’ve always been afraid of showing my work to others, even though, when I did, I got positive feedback.

In a way, I think I’m as afraid of success as I am of failure. Well, maybe not: only I will know if I fail, but succeeding envolves others and the possibility that, eventually, I will fail. I also don’t know if I’d even be capable of handling success, I’ve always had issues with too much of attention being given to me, even if I want it.

There’s also the fact that my self-esteem, self-confidence and, basically, my whole self are like a rolercoaster or a sea with high ondulation: fine in a moment, excelent in the next, questioning my existence in another. I think that even if I won the most prestigious award I’d still question my abilities, not in an attempt to keep myself grounded and not become full of myself and arrogant, but because I genuinely cannot fathom actually being that good. I’d let myself get caught up by the success at first, but then the doubt would creep in and the validation would lose some of its effects. But maybe then I wouldn’t reach the lowest lows, and it would be easier for me to return to my ‘normal’ state? I don’t know, but then again I probably should go to therapy. (Give me time to find a job and get money, don’t worry.)

In this rather rambling post, what I’m trying to say is that I made a promise to myself. I made a promise to a little girl who dared to consider to possibility of being a writer. I made a promise to the teenager who got an idea in her head that grew so much that it demands to be written, and who had so many ideas since then. And I’m making a promise to the young adult who continues having ideas, continues imagining, continues dreaming.

I’m going to try. And, maybe, hopefully, even though how scary it is, we’ll make it there. We have our whole lives after all.

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