(For reference, here is where the title came from)
Today got me thinking about storytelling and my creativity more than usual. Part of it is because I finished reading The Outsider, and I’ve been thinking about it as a manual that may somehow contain the key to my salvation, to the liberation of my energies.
I am constantly haunted by the feeling that I have something to say, some purpose to fulfil, some important thing that I should be doing and I am not. Sometimes I fear that I’m actually empty and I’m just making it all up. I know I’m not, but sometimes I still do.
I know the main thing keeping me down is my own self-hate. I can’t muster even a tiny bit of self-respect, and I keep letting myself down on a daily basis. There’s other serious obstacles, like dispersal of energy, but I think my self-hate is the biggest one, as it colours everything I do. There’s always an “I’m not good enough, I’ll never be good enough” background to my actions, the more so the more they matter.
I honestly don’t know why I still try to do so many things. I guess that there’s a complementary instinct, one that asserts: “This is not how things should be, this is all wrong, I
could should be so much better than this, I should be great”. It’s weak, but it’s obviously there, as a sort of standard that I always fall short of, but that I strongly feel as my own.
I wish I could play with Lego, but I can’t. My parents never bought me such toys, they always bought me toys with a very strong sense of how they should be played, the one and only way; videogames being an excellent example of it. I can lament the lack of intellectual, creative and emotional fostering I had as a kid under many angles, but today this one stroke me as particularly relevant.
Lego are more of a tool to play with, than a game in themselves. You don’t play Lego, but Lego allow you to play, to create your own game. And creation, from scratch, just based on my fancy, is something I never learned. I remember being in primary school and already thinking that I didn’t have anything to say, and if I had, no one was interested in it anyway. I knew the correct answer to most questions, but I didn’t know my answer to questions to which right and wrong didn’t really apply.
If I imagine myself playing with Lego now, I think I would fail out of lack of self-respect. Not because I’m playing a kids’ game, but out of lack of respect for myself as a narrator, as a creator of an imaginative world. I wouldn’t feel up to the task, without any instructions to follow: self expression? I’d feel nervous, scared, as if I had nothing to express, as if I was nothing.
I wish I could play with Lego, and make up a crappy story just because I can, just because that’s what the pieces allow me to do, even if it doesn’t make sense, just because it’s fun in the moment, even if it has no ulterior significance. Just because it’s for me and I’m having fun with my own imagination.
Even if it’s far from my view of art, I would just like to feel liberated.