It’s easy to let the negative parts of your life become your identity.
Addict. Victim. Crazy person. Bitch. Loser.
I do and have suffered from depression since I was in my pre-teens. Sometime around the time where what I was being told was good and right stopped lining up with what made sense or what was empirically good and right, I started feeling down.
There’s a reason that Teddy, in my book, begins his descent in grade seven.
Half of the things that happened to Teddy are ripped from my own life, in some form or another, as amalgams of things I did or as subtle twists on others. Not-quite retellings that are closer to reality than I would admit.
That’s the best writing, or so they say. Things written from experience, or at least, extreme interest.
My expertise seems to lie in fatalism. In desperately wanting and needing something better, but somehow knowing that it doesn’t exist, or that it’s exceedingly unrealistic.
That is not what I would be known for, though this first novel certainly takes that bent.
The idea is to start where I am, which is the pits these days, and forge a new identity. I’ve spent thirty years on this unhappy one; it’s time for something new.
Naturally, change is hardly a thing that takes place overnight. We love to think it does, but that’s because we’ve become obsessed with the convenient and the instant. We want everything now, but that’s not the way it works. Only the exceedingly rich get what they want right now, and because it’s not earned, there’s nothing learned from it.
We grow in steps, like walking from one place to another. Only Superman leaps in a single bound.
The idea is to go from this current self-identity of depressed guy, of deeply unhappy man who is a step away from driving himself into a light pole without a seat belt, and end with something much, much better.
Something more evolved.
Something uncommon. Something that could be truly miraculous and amazing, at least the proto-version of it, that’s not what we currently have.
Something that represents something better. The thing I need and want, brought to reality by my own hand. That’s the idea for the canon. It should peak with true inspiration and intelligence, with emotion and depth and understanding, kindness beyond the platitudes.
But to start, here and now, we’re in the shit, mired in the muck and the dirt.
Mired in nothing.
Because in the end, no matter how much we try to spin it, that’s what’s out there.
That’s what’s waiting for us.
I just can’t let it define me.