Who Am I?

I don’t do my writing exercise as often as I should. They say it takes 30 days to form a habit. This is not a habit that is sticking for some reason. I thought with this post I’d try to focus on something I know the most: Me :D lol jk, but seriously, I’ve said before that most of the characters I write about are based on myself. They’re either based on who I am, was, wish I were, or just overall some version of myself. Maybe if I write about what makes me tick it’ll help me form my characters a little better.
So first of all, who am I? I have no idea. Does anyone know the answer to that question? After all of these years I have no clue who I am. In the past I had some sort of idea who I was and who I envisioned I would be. When I was really little I imagined that I’d grow up to be some awesome teacher and reach out to kids. That was most definitely before I had even started school. Once I entered elementary school I realized that I hated kids and my first “What do you want to be when you grow up” dream career died at the drop of a hat.
As I got older my passion for music grew. I knew that one day whatever career I chose I’d want it to deal with music. For as long as I can remember I’ve loved all types of music, but as a young black girl in the 80s/90s I was teased for the rock music I liked. The only rock bands I’d admit to were the iconic ones: U2, Aerosmith, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. It wasn’t until when I heard The Beatles for the first time when I was 13 that this all changed.
The Beatles changed my life. Honestly. I finally let myself go and even though I was still teased, I didn’t care, because all I had to do was put on my head phones and let Paul, John, George and Ringo put a smile on my face. With my new freedom there was one group of people who still managed to make me feel small. My family. I’ve been called everything from weird to an embarrassment. Although, to be honest, they’ve always called me these things or made me feel left out. I am the self proclaimed black sheep. It’s a badge I’m used to wearing. Now that I’m older, I’m civil with my harshest critics, but I’m not very fond of them nor will I ever be.
When it comes to the characters I bring to life, most have a background of abandonment, as I did. My parents never abandoned me in a physical sense. My extended family did on many occasions. Once upon a time ago I was close to cousins, but often when my extended family went out for activities I was mostly excluded from this only to hear from my cousins what an awesome time they had. It made me always feel like I wasn’t as important as my cousins. It was even more hurtful when my parents never stood up for me when I was always left out. I mean, I am an only child which is already pretty lonely to begin with. This didn’t happen all the time, but it happened enough to where I expect people, even today, to leave me out of things. Even I think it’s silly that decades later this effects the way I interact with people today, but I can’t help it. I remember when I moved to Chicago years ago one of the first things my mom said to me was how she didn’t know where I got the courage to do a lot of things on my own because no one in my family ever had the balls to do it. I told her that it was easy. I know that I won’t disappoint me or hold me back from doing what I want and above all else I was used to being alone. Even when I moved back home these “family” members told me how worried they were that I was alone (it never occurred to them to call or email), but living solely on my own was complete bliss to me.
My characters have this loneliness that they battle with yet embrace, like myself. I like to be on my own. I like venturing out into the world not worrying about anyone else yet on one hand it would be nice to have someone to share amazing experiences with. Like myself, my characters march to their own contradictory drum. Hating themselves all the while embracing the life they lead and not wanting to change. It’s hard to explain, but that’s me. The main thing I share with my fictional characters is our love of music and not giving a damn what people think about what we rock out to. The people I write about dare to be different and bold, but sulk hard. They wonder what the world would be like without them, but are frightened of the idea that they may miss something. This thought often pops into my head and it scares me.
Often my personality seeps into every character in one single story. One I write in the vision of my current self will be hurt by my future self only to find friendship in the old me. I’m constantly at war with myself. Fighting to get to an old me that I didn’t particularly like in the first place and reaching for a future self that I’m pretty sure will never exist the way I imagine her. I fear that this future self will be exactly like the current me only more secluded and lost. No matter how much I try to change or ignore it the more I become my fear.
The trouble I run into putting my life into fiction is that my life is now at a standstill, therefore my characters are frozen in time as well. I have yet to accomplish my goal of wanting to be a entertainment journalist or even blogger who follows her favorite bands all over the country like I desperately want to do. I don’t know what steps to make this happen which puts me in this cycle of being completely lost and self loathing. Because of this my characters get no resolution with the struggles they face nor do they find the things that make them happy because they have no idea what makes them happy. Everything is trial and error with an emphasis on the error.
My life is a story that I will continue to attempt to write. I can only try to make myself better and find what made me happy at one time. That is my only way to mold these characters as well as myself. When I find myself out of this darkness I can only hope that these characters will follow.
SN: This was totally supposed to turn out to be a happy post, but if I had done that it wouldn’t have been 100% my life. I’ve laughed off a lot of things to keep from going into a REALLY dark place. I generally am a keep people laughing type of person even though my thoughts on life and myself would suggest otherwise.
By: Asia Aneka Anderson

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