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I haven’t written anything in a long time. I’m not sure why. I once wrote that writing was therapy to me. In the past, these periods of mental silence marked troubled times which were always followed by frantic purgings of emotion and thought onto blank notebook pages as they counseled me through dark hallways. These are not troubled times, or at least not in the typical sense.

Overall, I’d say I’m pretty happy with the world right now. Sure, I would change some things if I could, but I’m living life one day at a time. My life is filled with more uncertainty now than it’s ever been before. I know what I’m doing this weekend, but beyond that, it’s nothing but a blank page. The strange thing is I’m not worried. There are a million things that could go wrong, a million things that could blow up in my face right now and completely destroy me, but I’m not at all scared. So why haven’t I been writing?

Apparently, this was a problem even in my earliest years of grade school. I was looking through some old files in my parents’ basement the other day and I came across some comment sheets my teacher had written in first grade. She said I was reading above my level and showed great promise in my writing skills, but that she had trouble getting me to focus. A later note said that I had stopped writing completely, that I said there was nothing to write about. She said she found ways to get me to write something, but that I seemed largely uninterested with the tasks at hand.

Why wasn’t I writing? In those days, you don’t write anything but what you did for summer, or what your favorite color is, but I wanted nothing to do with it. I did find one little story I wrote. It was called “The Garbage Pail Kids Fight the Junk Kids.” I basically made up my own version of the classic Garbage Pail Kids and had them duel as only a six-year-old can. It came down to a rope climb. Fast Cast from the Junk Kids beat Russell Muscle from the Garbage Pail Kids because Russell’s muscles made him too heavy and the rope broke when he got to the top.

I guess that’s the answer. My teachers wanted me to write about reality, about what was going on in my world. I wanted nothing to do with reality. For whatever reason, I wanted to get as far away from my world as I possibly could. They said that I read a lot, but that I had trouble focusing on anything else. What they didn’t realize is that I was focusing.

I was focused so intently on leaving my reality that I would often leave it for hours or even days at a time. I have this intense memory of one day in my early childhood where I just got up from the couch and floated through the air. It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my life, and it never happened. Everything about that memory feels real, but my mind, reality tells me it’s not.

I think that’s what’s happening to me now. I think I’m running away from my reality. Every moment of my life up to this point was planned out and set in motion long before I ever knew what I was doing. I knew I was going to go to college, I knew where, and I even knew what I needed to do to get there and get through it. All that lies ahead now is possibility and uncertainty. Somewhere in that uncertainty is a career, somewhere in that possibility lie marriage and a family. There is nothing but responsibility ahead of me.

I must be scared. I must be so scared of taking that next step into society that I want nothing to do with it. I finished the first draft of my first feature length screenplay recently, but I think I only did that because it wasn’t finished. It was the only door left that was still open. I finally closed that door and left myself with nothing but a million unopened doors to choose from.

I’d like to sell this screenplay, or even get it to the point that I feel comfortable showing it to the public, but I have done nothing since I finished it. I have dreams of being a screenwriter and working in the film industry, but I have done very little to get the ball rolling. I tell myself that I’m waiting for feedback, but that’s a lie. Sure it’d help, but I know exactly what needs to be done to take it to the next step, it’s just a matter of sitting down and focusing.

I guess that’s the curse of the dreamer. We become so comfortable in these fantastical worlds we create, that we completely lose sight of reality, or even begin to hate it and despise all things that call it to our attention. I guess they call it “Escapism.” I guess I’ve been escaping for most of my life. Maybe it’s time to accept my reality and let it help other six-year-olds escape their own realities.