by Cameryn Moore
Sorry, can you come back later? This is a bad time to talk. Or write. This is a bad time for me to do anything, really, with anyone.
I feel envious, green and oozing and slippery, trying to talk myself out of the feeling and choking on my own unwarranted bile. I am hard on myself for not succeeding, and then hard on myself for being hard on myself. I know the affirmations, the things I’m supposed to keep telling myself. Other artists’ successes have nothing to do with the merit or not of my work. Other educators have been around a lot longer than I have; of course I need to put in my time. Other writers are working on books; that’s not what I want to do anyway. It’s all smoke and mirrors, or hurtful competition, or I don’t realize how good I’ve got it and I should count my blessings, or there is room for all of us to succeed. I know all of these things. At some point I may have written about it; I may write about it again. I still feel envy. Don’t try to talk me out of it. I’ll get through it at some point. It’s a process, fuck.
I feel like I am on the right path with my career, but if I think about it too hard, my writing becomes self-conscious and then I have to step away, and that is a big waste of time, but I can't stop thinking about what the hell I am trying to do with myself and why. I feel like the urgency in that question is much more understandable coming from a middle-aged woman than from someone in their late teens.