There is something to be said about discovering ones purpose.
It brings out thoughts of childhood, of adolescence, and early adulthood.
Memories flood in of things we thought, feelings we had for others, or ourselves. But it’s within these memories the truth comes out.
We’ve pushed those memories deep to keep them from ourselves because honestly, they’re too hard to deal with. But with hiding things from others, ourselves, and keeping them that way until a sudden realization comes about, we never truly understand who we are.
This darkness that’s enveloped me since childhood was a thing I pushed down. Something I didn’t want to see the light for a few reasons.
I grew up in a very religious community.
Living in Utah is like watching a movie about a religion and never being allowed to turn it off. Being a person who is not a member of that community is a careful dance. One can’t commit to too many things. You can’t afford to show your true colors, and you must never show any glimmer of darkness.
My darkness has been around since childhood.
It manifested every time I wanted read or watch something I wasn’t allowed to, but would sneak to watch or read. It was the times I’d stay up when I was left alone and watch Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, and whatever other show was on cable or other channels late at night.
In Tim S. Grover’s book “Relentless” he discusses the dark side and how everyone has a dark side.
I’ve listened to that book on audio at least ten times, and believed that a person’s dark side had to be a vice.
I recently had a discussion with my wife on this topic. She believed it had to be a vice as well.
But what if it’s not?
He says in the book that “what is the one thing that if people were to know it they’d look at you differently?”
Now, I believed it to be alcohol, like a vice, but I don’t feel that’s true anymore.
The one thing that I’ve kept to myself is that I like all these dark things. I like to watch a horror movie and be scared. I enjoy reading a book that scares me enough, or freaks me out enough, to toss it across the room after finishing it. I did that exact thing when I finished “The Girl Next Door” by Jack Ketchum.
There is a story in my collection where I let my mind run and what I wrote freaked me out. It was very exciting to me that I wrote something that made me afraid to share it. And that is exactly why “The Leftovers” is in my collection.
That story felt freeing.
There were things in that story that I didn’t want to write, but I felt in order to be honest about the story I had to.
Now, as I’ve apparently accepted my dark side and that I’m no longer afraid to go dark, what I write may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t want to write for anyone else. I want to write what felt forbidden. Pull things from the dark recesses and put them on the page.
If you’ve read “The Leftovers” you understand what I’m talking about. If not the collection is only .99 on Kindle.
As I go back to the regularly scheduled program, I leave you with this. What is the one thing that if someone were to know it they’d look at you differently?
Use that to push yourself. I got looked at differently all my life for all the dark things I love. But it’s made me into the functioning adult I am.
Have a good weekend.