It’s been a while, far longer than I would have liked for it to be. That is, I didn’t intend for there to be a radio silence over the past few months, nor did I intend to still have comments from January that are unanswered.
But life…Got in the way. The combination of emotional and psychological circumstances of the last few months built up and led to a kind of writing paralysis. I didn’t respond to comments, didn’t write, didn’t actually do much looking at this spot at all. I thought about it—Oh I thought about it often, feeling guilty about the back-log and wishing that I could get myself back into the habit of writing…But also not knowing what to say.
In a world where everything feels constantly on the brink of destruction, I thought, how could I, why would I, be self-indulgent enough to think that my writing, my tiny blog, mattered? Why would pop culture commentary and talk of mental illness and anecdotes about parenting actually matter? Instead of creating, I immersed myself in the writing of others. I gobbled up book after book, comic after comic, show after show. I engaged in online debate via social media channels, but I didn’t write, not really.
Mostly, I just lost myself. I let the words of others wash over me, let them frighten and amuse and bolster me. I let them heal me.
And I suppose that this wealth of things I’ve read and watched over the last few months is what has finally led me to wanting to write again. I’ve remembered that creating something matters…Whether the thing is a fiction or a nonfiction, a representation or a reality, creation matters. As I watch Get Out and Kubo and the Two Strings, American Gods and The Handmaid’s Tale, as I read It and The Secret Loves of Geek Girls and Monstress, Saga and Rat Queens and The Girl Who Drank the Moon, I can only be reminded just how very much our pop culture matters. The stories we tell are are important, and we absolutely should talk about them, hold them up and decide how they complicate, reflect, and refract our cultural narratives.
I’ve read smart writings about many of the works I’ve immersed myself in, writings that critique the presentation of the subjects and the subjects themselves. I’m fascinated by finding out what other people think about things, what they see that I don’t see. At some point, because I wasn’t an academic, I stopped being the person who wrote those things. But now I think that maybe being an academic doesn’t have all that much to do with whether or not you’re a doctor or currently taking classes in an organized and recognized institution. Maybe it’s more about using academic methods and applying them…Researching and hypothesizing and writing, creating arguments and supporting them with evidence.
Either way, it’s time for me to start again–about pop culture and about my illness and just about life in general. Because what I’ve found is that I need to write. I need to talk about my own experiences and to keep allowing others to use this space in the same way. I have to talk about my mental illnesses…A probable diagnosis of biploar type 2, definite diagnoses of major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I also have to talk about the difficult things–old traumas and new, the current political situation as well as current literature, film, and TV. I need to talk, and this is the best place to talk.
And so the Monster returns.