Aces and Aros: More than a card game

Until recently, I have to shamefully admit that I did not know asexuality and aromantic inclination were a possibility. I have to humbly say, it blew my mind. That some individual have little to no inclination to sexuality or romantic relationship was a totally foreign concept to me. Having dedicated most of my life to ponder on the great matters of love and sexuality, it seemed surreal. Why? How? To love and be loved; To desire and be desired were my life purpose. Obviously, I knew about the spectrum but had yet to be confronted with this reality before. I was simply not aware.

On my part, I consider myself on the opposite side of the spectrum. I want it all. Sometimes, it causes problems. I wish I thought less about it. I envy the free space it would liberate in my mind to focus on something else than my emotions, my desire, my feelings. Not to say that those on the other end of the spectrum don’t experience feelings or emotions, but I have a hard time envisioning what it feels like. I can’t help but feeling envious. In my mind, it seems so freeing. I am probably wrong and understand everything badly and please correct me if I do, but liberating one’s mind of such trivial subjects may lead to greater discoveries. Again, some of the greatest writers dedicated their life to write about trivial matters, but in this day in age, it seems we have much more to do than spend days writing poetry to a blond virginal beauty.

I am the type of person that can’t compartiment. I feel intensely most of the time. Sadness, excitement, exaltation, desire, love, hate. I wish I could feel nothing, but I don’t seem to have been programmed this way. The few times I can empty my mind is a time of great distress to me. It feel uncomfortable, suffocating. It seems there is always a million things running at the background of my head at the same time. Focusing is a hard thing to do. I wish I could empty my head just be able to focus on what really matters. Instead, I feel it takes so much place, it creates problems, unnecessary pain and troubles, disassociation, anxiety and depression.

This year, I want to pursue the work to distance myself from my emotions. I know it won’t be easy. I know most of my emotions are valid. But perhaps if I give them time to bloom, they might be something much more positive. Just the thought of taming my intensity makes me anxious, but this intensity also hurts me the most.

I definitely want to educate myself more on asexuality and aromanticism, it might teach me a thing or two about myself, about being a better person to others and how to relate to this big great world.

Losing sight

Ten years ago was my first year in university. I was a full-time student in French Literature. I dreamt of becoming a playwright.

That year, I met my idol, one of Quebec most famous playwriter’s Michel Tremblay. It was possibly one of the biggest high of my life.

My life back then was full of ups and downs, decisions blinded by debilitating anxiety and depression. A writing future seemed bleak, doomed to fail, fueled by a very rational entourage.

I changed my path to a more secure one, that would lend me a safe job with a pension plan and benefits.

Until about two years ago, I had totally forgot about this yearning to write, this dream that was so important back then. I still can’t explain it, but I can’t help but go back to it. Two years ago, when I hit the ground, pinned down by major depression and severe anxiety. Forced to take a break, reflect on myself, my goals, my dreams, my profond discomfort.

Today, I struggle between balancing my job, my dream, my mental state and daily life. I often fail. I don’t know if I will ever make it. Most time, I feel overwhelmed or guilty for things I do or don’t. I am still reflecting on the sense of life, the point of it all.

But today I saw a play celebrating the life and the immense work of my idol, who nearing his retirement, leaves behind a rich heritage all French Canadian can be proud of. That no matter where you come from, your family history and who you are, you can break the walls by being yourself and make your place in this world. That every story is worth being told. That success is not only a question of chance or talent, but also hard work and dedication.

Writing takes time. It takes patience. Starting is the harder. It is frightening. We all seek validation from our fellow writers and friends. At the end, we have to take the leap of faith, confront our fears and trust those who believe in us, primarily ourselves.

I will never be as great as Michel Tremblay, nor I will ever try to be. Having forgotten who I was, all this piece of myself, for so long is unforgivable to me. Time I will never back back. Drowning in the fog of anxiety and depression. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I hope I never lose sight of my dream, nor myself.

First chapters

In life, first times are difficult. In my experience as a beta-reader, I find this especially true.

In the first few chapters, the writer is in the dark, creating from pure emptiness and chaos. Finding a good pace, placing the setting and presenting characters in a few pages in a flawless flow is quite challenging.

Writers are especially harsh against themselves and each other. Every line won’t be perfect. Give yourself some time.

Usually, the first few times of doing a new things, months after a move, a new job. Those days, months, years are hard and stressful. You might be overwhelmed by anxiety and uncertainty.

We want everything and we want it now. Patience is a virtue I wish I possessed, but I have compassion and respect for others.

Seeing writers being harshly criticized for the first chapters they are introducing, harsh reviews after a new publications, quitting their art from fear of themselves is heartbreaking and rage-inducing.

Writing; just as life; is hard. Especially the first chapters.

Give yourself some time. Be patient. Surround yourself with patient, comprehensive, talented editors and beta readers. Make good friends. Invest your time in people who believe in you.

Above all; don’t let critics distance yourself from your art. Don’t let self-doubts drown your mind and take over. Take it in your stride, find the silver lining and roll with the punches. Rewrite everything, question yourself, let go of prejudices and preconceived ideas. If your foundation is solid, the rest is just words, letters, punctuation. Make it yours, find your style.

Write for yourself. Yuu won’t, you can’t please anybody. Put yourself out there, your authentic self and that is what people will want and love.

Don’t give up. It’s just the first chapter. It gets better. It gets easier.

Walking the tightrope

Stranded in the middle of the wire

Between two lives I dream and admire

Struggling to keep balance

To not lose foot in this whirlwind dance

Trying to see through the fog

Up in the air, on this single cord

In the darkness of indecisions

Which way to go for good fortune

Never was I meant to be an acrobat, a funambulist

Breathless, to skirt this mind chaos controlled by the artist

Life hanging by a single thread

As failing over may cause great dread

Feet burned by the cold metal cable

Flesh burned beyond aching trouble

As each passing minutes, bring more sorrow

To myself and the one I know.

I have to keep walking this tightrope alone

As no one can save me from my own.