Then and Now

Many many years ago, in a magical decade known as the 90s, I was in grade school. It was a time before cell phones, tablets and laptops, when the students would crowd around the old classroom Macintosh to play Oregon Trail.

It was in this most nostalgic of decades that we got our first home computer, and I first discovered the mystical realm called the internet.

By the end of the 90s I was fully engrossed in online text-based roleplaying in AOL chat rooms. It is there that I met Alabama Gandalf who would become my closest of friends. It was also during this time, from about 1995 to 2003 that was the real golden age of my creativity.

I remember it fondly. I would spend every waking moment engrossed in my fantasy worlds, role-playing, drawing, reading and writing. In school I could hardly be seen without one fantasy book or another and a sketchbook. Teachers would often reprimand me for drawing rather than taking notes, and every free period I would find some little nook in which to read (until I got a boyfriend, then that time was most often spent smooching and playing Magic: the Gathering).

During that time my creativity knew no bounds. I fondly remember sitting on the couch reading and keeping a notebook beside me because chances are some part of the book I was devouring would jump out at me as inspiration and I’d make note of it. And my favorite time of day was at night, laying in bed, nodding off to sleep only to jerk awake as my semi-dreams had resulted in some inspirational muse or another.

That was then.

This is now…

I get home from work and I sit down in front of the computer and I first check to see if there is anything new on Hulu. If not than I hit Amazon to see if there are any new episodes of any of those shows. If that also fails me (or after I’ve watched them) I switch to youtube.  If there is nothing to watch, that is when the darkness sets in.

Listless, restless, unsure what to do with myself. So I browse youtube, finding anything, absolutely anything to watch. Because just a few moments of contemplating what to do… my mind disconnects. I consider drawing, reading, sculpting, writing, playing ESO, all the things I used to love doing. But as my mind alights on each one, it abandons it.

My eye lids start to feel heavy, and I contemplate just going to bed. I glance at the clock. Chances are it is way too early to go to bed, unless I want to be up at 4 in the morning just as bored as  I was the night before. So I search the web for anything to amuse myself with. I go on amazon and add more stuff to my wishlist. I go on Facebook and browse the most recent posts. I’ll go again to Hulu and Amazon and Youtube debating what I want to re-watch for the umpteenth time (rather than [for whatever reason] finding something new to watch).

And that will be my evening (or day on the weekends) trying to find things to watch because for some reason my mind recoils at the thought of doing things I used to love.

And there-in is my conundrum. Why?

Have I stopped loving them? Have I lost interest in them?

Usually when something is wrong I can generally suss out the issue—even if I don’t want to admit it to myself. For example, when I struggled to figure out why I wasn’t willing to go all-in with Wicca and I never did any of the rituals or spells, I finally had to admit to myself that the reasons were 1. I thought rituals and spells were stupid and felt stupid doing them and 2. I didn’t actually believe they could work, or believe in any religion, and lastly 3. I just wanted people to think I was cool and different for being a witch.

Does that apply here? I ask myself “is the reason why you are pulling away from these things because you no longer enjoy them?” Is it because I just want them to be part of this image of the perfect self I’ve created? Artistic, creative, inventive, unique. Have they become more work and less fun? And if so where did the passion go?

But at the same time…if that is true… if the real truth that I don’t want to admit to myself is that I just don’t enjoy these things anymore… if the truth is that what I want to be doing is watching TV…that terrifies me. I feel like a giant block of ice is sitting in my stomach. I don’t want that to be the truth…

I am hoping it is not the truth, and I do have some small basis for that hope. These past few days I’ve been watching a lot of videos on youtube of making digital art on the ipad pro with the Procreate app. I’ve got an ipad pro coming, I’ve got an apple pencil sitting beside me, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my ipad since Thursday when I ordered it, very excited to test it out and spend all my free time drawing.

But will I?

Or will it join the long list of expensive items I’ve purchased, used for a brief period, and then ditched.

And more importantly and the real reason for this specific post… how do I go backwards? How do I go from how I am now (Hulu/Amazon/Youtube) to who I used to be back then (reading/drawing/writing)?

How to I rediscover the creative, passionate, happy person I used to be?







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