Getting Personal: Feeling Empty

Tonight, I want to really open up. No outline. No preconceived notions about which direction this is all going. I just want to talk for a little bit, and it may or may not be writing related.

I feel empty inside. I don’t know how I’m still going.

What does that mean? What am I talking about? Can I be more specific?

It’s loneliness, and hopelessness, and a sense that everything I care about or that I’m trying to accomplish will amount to nothing in the end. That all of my efforts, all of my life, will be forgotten when I’m gone.

I want to make the world a better place and fill it with a little bit more love. But I’m shouting into the wind. Whatever seeds I plant will be crushed before they can take root. Perhaps by accident, perhaps by malicious intent. Whatever the reason, I cannot do enough. I will never do enough, no matter the merit of the thoughts or ideas that manifest in my brain.

That just sounds like depression, right? Something a great many people are going through after the last couple of years. With the news of the all the shootings, it’s natural for sympathetic people to feel down. Right?

The thing is, I have always felt the need to do something to try to make the world a better place. Draw. Sing. Write. Perform. Be a good friend. Spread love. CREATE.

The need has never diminished, but the hope has faded more and more over time.

I don’t think anything I’m saying is particularly unique to me. In fact, the way I’m describing this, it sounds like a noble purpose, right? Make the world a better place through art and love. That would be a life well spent.

Tonight, I’ve been trying to analyze the need a little bit more. It’s not entirely selfless. I’m not that perfect. Some of it is ego, for sure. I want to be remembered. I want to leave a mark on the world. That’s selfish. Who do I think I am to deserve to be remembered? Billions of people are born and die, and most of them disappear like smoke in the wind. Why should I be any different?

I think I just want to feel loved. I want to feel like I am known, and that when I’m gone, it’s my presence that is missed, and not just the things I do for people.

There are people that love me. Melissa. My kids. Michael. I have some friends. But I keep walls up. I keep some distance from everyone, and I try to make the people that are near me happy by listening, paying attention, and giving.

I’m intuitive and perceptive, and when I pay attention to someone, I can really, truly know them, sometimes better than they know themselves. In my mind, that’s what it is to love someone.

I don’t think I let people love me the way I love them. I want to be known, but I do not open up. I don’t share like that. I want to, but I don’t know how anymore.

That’s why I don’t make new friends. Friendship is borne from trust, experience, and time. I don’t trust anyone enough to allow myself to be vulnerable anymore.

So who am I? What is it that I don’t let people see?

Those are the wrong questions.

I’m not particularly special. I’m smart, perceptive, and talented. There are lots of people like me, some of which are smarter, more perceptive, more talented. I’m not actually a sealed book, nor am I always silent. I’ve been telling people all my life who I am. Showing them.

The question isn’t about what I’m hiding, or how I’m keeping people at a distance. The question is, why don’t people pay attention to me the same way I pay attention to them?

It must be who I am, and what I’m saying. The fault must be in me.

I’m a broken, flawed, desperate man. Is that all it is? In order to be seen, do I need to hide myself more? That’s counter-intuitive, but maybe there’s something to that.

I honestly don’t know. I don’t have any answer or wisdom to wrap this up into a nice, tidy little message. This is my open journal. Ostensibly, it’s my journey as a writer, but who knows if I really have a future there. I’ll keep writing, even when hope is gone, and I’m tired and hungry for attention.

If any of this got you down, I apologize. I’m probably just being maudlin. I needed to write something tonight to try and make sense of my feelings, and hopefully feel better.

Do I feel better?

I don’t know.