The start of the year saps the creative life from my bones, takes my words and vision and grinds it to a halt.
It’s always been this way.
I’ve always put the blame on a wicked case of seasonal affective disorder, though I’m sure it’s more than that. I’ve always dreamt of running away for the cold seasons, fantasized about how the change in scenery would boost my motivation, reinvigorate my veins and pump them full of the magic that is writing, shooting, making, changing, building.
And so, this year I did.
I escaped to DC for almost three months (much warmer than Toronto, trust me!) and while it worked wonders on my mood, it barely changed my ability to create the words that fuel an article. I managed to get out two different pieces, which is a step up from last year – only my rage over FOSTA/SESTA allowed me to get anything out on ‘paper’ before June.
My energy was significantly higher than any year previously, poured into creative outlets such as designing and modifying corsets, and I was surrounded by people I love deeply but never get to see. I experienced the kind of affection, attention, and care from people that I’m unused to feeling with such intensity from friends. They are charming and powerful, and leaving them broke my heart more than I expected it to. These four people and everything they gave me each second I was with them…honestly they just fill me with awe, and have since the day I met them. I’ll never have the words to explain how much these four heal me, always.
And then I came home.
Home to my life, my own bed, my boyfriend, my cats, my work, everything.
Maryland had become a home to me in my time away, one that I crave returning to as soon as possible, but there really is something about Toronto.
No matter how sick of it I am, no matter how sad I am to be leaving wherever I may be, the second my feet hit the ground there, it feels like a homecoming and I remember why I fell in love with this city in the first place.
There was a lot of not-great-to-outright-bad stuff over the last four months, of course, but for the most part my life was going better than I had anticipated for the season.
And yet, I still had nothing to say.
I had plenty of scheduled drafts that I never got around to writing (apologies to everyone on my mailing list who have received a bunch of “Taylor published this piece!” only to see it was empty, and big thanks to Nillin for pointing them out to me!), plenty of ideas and thoughts, but nothing I strung together worked. My words still felt broken, empty, meaningless.
Recently I reconnected with someone who always inspired me. We’ve been talking for a while, but it’s been strained, awkward, weird. We managed to break through to a place that finally feels normal again, and that seems to have been the final piece needed to jump-start my fingers back to keys. Not that they create my words, more that it was the last bit of kindling needed for my creative spark to grow, or for me to shake the cobwebs loose, or…something. I’m not sure.
The words are starting to come back; I want to write, to test, to recreate that magical feeling that creating always gives me. I never feel more like myself than when I’m creating; every month I spend without the ability to do so is a month away from a core piece of myself.
I’m getting there.
I have a lot that I want to say, a lot that I want to do.
I just ran off to Montreal, where I’ll be for the next two weeks, and my boyfriend will be joining me in a couple days as a small getaway for our 6th anniversary. He’s never been to Quebec and it didn’t seem like he and I would make it this long. but things have gotten much better between us. I’ve started trying to draw for the first time in 10+ years, am about to start modifying another corset (with lace and pearl, two things I’ve never worked with before!), have several articles in mind that I’m excited to get out, I’m replying to emails and trying to get things back on track again.
The future looks bright – at least for today.
It feels like parts of me are coming back together – I never realize just how weighed down I feel when I don’t know how to create. It never seems like that big a deal until I get my feet back under me and start putting things out there again.
Creating makes me feel free, even if I don’t share it with anyone.
And so, I think it’s more than time to write some dang words already.