Ghost Questions

by Kait Mauro

I'm about to turn 25 in less than a month. I feel like I should have accomplished so much more by now.

I've been struggling  a lot with big questions lately, so yesterday I decided to give myself a break and refuse to think about anything anxious or scary. I did not open the envelope from the student loan company that came in the mail. It kind of came back to bite me this morning when I woke up terrified of everything and just drowning in anxiety. I was afraid of living, of dying, of everything. I think all of the thoughts I was suppressing just kind of exploded because suppressing things doesn't work for me. You can only keep the demons at bay for so long, and apparently for me that means one day of very effortful peace. I took 3mg of Klonopin and that didn't help. I took a shower and drank some tea and that didn't help. What does help is writing, truth-telling, being raw and being vulnerable. That is my safe space, where I can build myself a raft of twig honesty and hope twine. I not-so-secretly hope that by posting my words and thoughts and work online I will be able to join some kind of global creative tribe.

Here are the questions that have been haunting me:

- What do I want to do with this "one wild and precious life" (to quote Mary Oliver) I have been given? I feel directionless. I want to be an artist. I don't know what I want, I know what I don't want - which seems to really frustrate everyone I know.

- What if I never feel like a real artist? What does it even mean to be a "real" artist? What if nobody ever cares about what I make? What if I get burnt out and stop creating altogether and end up with the sort of boring, same thing every week, average life I am terrified of having? What if I turn into my parents?

- I ordered business cards last night with my name, contact information and the title "ARTIST" on them, but this does not make me a real artist.