Book of Myself Written by Shea Schuler
Why I Write I want to read my mind. When my brain flows through the ink onto paper, it creates images of the thoughts that race through my mind. Itâ€™s a place to begin understanding myself, spilling my thoughts onto the page. Theyâ€™re maps of my life and emotions. Every time I look back on my words, I relive a part of my life, learning from it. I sink into the pit of emotion sitting on the page and swirl through the memories, becoming enveloped in the past. Then I come up with a fresh mind understanding the hurt or confusion I once felt. I see myself constantly changing, continuously evolving. I try to preserve myself; To preserve the memories and feelings that seem like they will never be forgotten; that will eventually fade like the life we live. Writing keeps them fresh: Ripe fruits of emotion and thoughts of a younger self always there to pick, biting into the bitter resentment and pain, chewing the chaos and swallowing the sweet words that fill my chest.
Song of Myself I don’t know who I am. I mold myself. I become what I’m needed to be. I am clay in rough hands; Stretch me thinner, Watch me break. I’ll scoop up the scattered pieces of myself And give them to someone else. I have never truly known me. A stranger in my own body. I watch on the sidelines, A television show I have very mild interest in. I live in a grey haze. Time comes and goes. A week? A month? I can’t tell. I continue to swim through the thick tar of life, Trudging along, working so hard to do so little. But I will prevail. I will remold myself, And I will live.
Six Word Memoirs Music: the beat of my heart. The warmth you give to me. You smell a lot like home. Either his way or the highway. What I want but canâ€™t have. I am tired or your lies.
Conversations A long walk in the start of autumn, the leaves still green but the air crisp and cool. The world singing around them. An older woman with mousy brown hair and grey streaks peeking through, and a younger woman with curly blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail walk together along a trail. “So are we gonna bring our shoes in the creek or just leave ‘em?” They take their shoes and socks off and set them on the white rocks next to the clear running water. The older woman thinks for a second. “Leave ’em” “Okay” “Don’t you think?” “Yeah. Are we walkin’ up or down stream?” the blonde girl wonders. The older woman looks up the stream; the water running towards them. “Well I’ve only gone this way before” They look both ways. “Hmmm I wanna go upstream” “It’s pleasant so-” “Yeah, let’s go that way” the younger woman says. They dip their feet into the cool water. Refreshing after an hours trek. “Just be careful, don’t slip when you get in” “I’ll try my best” “You wanna hold my hand?” the older woman offers. She reaches out for the girl behind her. “No, I’m okay” They begin to walk upstream water splashing against their shins as their feet glide through the water. “I’m going so fast” the older woman laughs. “Huh?” “It makes you look like you’re going so fast, cause the water you know?” “Cause the water’s running- yeah” “Yeah it’s doubling your speed!” They both laugh softly. They walk in silence for a few minutes while the birds sing and the crickets chirp. The wind rustles through the leaves. “There are so many little fractures- how far have you gone this way” “Until you can’t go anymore” They come up to some trees that have grown farther together to intertwine. “So like now?” “No, I went under that” “Okay.. I’m just thinking about spiders” She hesitates. The older woman walks ahead “There are no spiders here” “As you clear a spider web!!” The younger woman says warrily. “I got ‘em all” They continue down the stream till it came to a drop off where they couldn’t see the bottom any more. They lie down on a large white rock and let the light dance through the leaves onto their faces. They laugh and talk about what it would be like to live in the 1800s. They talk about love and divorce. They splash their feet in the water and appreciate one another for being in each others life. A cool autumn day perfect for a walk.
Self interview I truly can’t remember the last time that I have pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone. I stay in my little safe bubble- away from anything that really scares me, I don’t-I don’t push myself to try new things very often, If I do it’s very small, meaningless, unimportant things that have no impact on my life or anybody else’s- I… I don’t push myself enough, as much as I say I do as much as I want to I just.. I stay stationary I’m not moving forward with my life.. or.. who I am. And I wish I could. I’ve given up on everything and everybody honestly I uh I’ve given up on love I’ve given up on hope, on my future, on my self. I um...I look at my future and I’m like- I don’t see anything. I don’t see someone successful I don’t see somebody happy or in love. I just I don’t see anything. And I wish I believed in love, I used to, and I wish I could trust but I’ve been hurt and I’ve been burned so many times that it’s so hard to.. and I don’t know how so I’ve just given up.. I am truly afraid of my future. My main goal in life is to be able to support myself and my family I want- I want a family I want children but I don’t think I’ll ever have them because I don’t know how I’ll support them. I uh, I love psychology I love getting into people's minds but that doesn’t earn enough money, I can’t support my family if I don’t have money and… I want to give my kids everything, everything they could possibly imagine, everything that they’re going to deserve, and I don’t think I’ll be able to and I truly afraid of that.. And I give up *laugh* I just I give up, on school, on so many things so easily just because it gets difficult and I don’t know why. I-I didn’t used to do that and that scares me. I don’t know what's changed. I don’t know how to change this. If this were the last day of my life, I would do so many things I would- first I would tell my family I love them and I would spend some time with them but… and my best friend I would make sure she knows I love her cause she’s the most important person in my life she’s what holds me together and after that.. I would tell people things that I’ve wanted to tell them and I would do whatever I want-I would just- I would admit things that I’m afraid to admit. I would… I would do things that I’m too afraid to do cause I don’t know how it’ll end… and I’m not going to do any of that today cause I’m scared I mean I’ll tell my best friend that I love her, cause I do and I’ll tell my family that I love them because I do I’ll talk to my dad, I haven’t talked to him in months but, the things that I really want to do, the words that eat me up inside, I won’t say any of that. I can’t. I need to let go and move on from a past relationship um, it was, it was a few months ago now it was about eight months that it ended but it lasted a year and a half but it caused me so much pain and heartbreak, it was full of abuse and mistrust and lies.. but it’s over now, I’m not in that relationship I’m not currently being abused like I was I- but everyday it haunts me it affects every choice that I make every thing that I say it affects it and I hate it. I wish that I could just let it go I wish that he could leave my mind and I wish that he could just leave me alone but he never will. And I wi- I just.. I need to let go of that, cause it hurts and it causes pain to those who are around me because I… these things that I say, actions I do I just- it causes me to be guarded, and afraid.. I’m afraid, to be who I am because when I was who I was I was punished for it and I was beaten down for it but I need to let go and I need to move on but I don’t know if I’ll be able to.
Anecdote My mom stood by the trash can peeling potatoes, silent tears falling down her face. I was sitting at the kitchen table watching my dad just stand there. I saw his face twist up with the only emotion he knows how to express: anger. “What the fuck is wrong with you now?” She flinched at his words. My own anger started to bubble up, but I held my tongue. “It’s just been a really stressful day” she choked out. “So that means you have to rush past me to get in the house huh? Are you running away from me now?” his face reddened and the tension built. “No, I just had a lot of stuff in my hands.” He didn’t respond. The world seemed to spin slower as the anger filled the room. His knuckles turned white, contrasting the yellow cigarette stains on his fingers. Silence. And the yelling started. He blamed her for his drinking, for his pain. For everything. Her tears fell harder as his hand slammed against the island. His spit flying from his mouth as he cursed her out. All for her depression being worse that day. My father's blood that runs through me started to boil. My anger rose to match his own. My teeth grinding, struggling to keep my mouth shut. My mother turned away from him to wash the dishes so he couldn’t see her sobbing. He stood there, rage enveloping his being. His attention turned towards me then. “What the fuck are you looking at?” “Nothing.” I forced out. “No, what the fuck is your problem?” I stayed silent. “You got something to say?” I couldn’t take it anymore. I spoke. “Yes I do, how can you stand there while your wife is crying her eyes out and continue to berate her and hurt her? How can you do that to another person? Are you really that incapable of empathy? Are you that heartless?” “Oh you think you know everything now?” he shot back. “No. I know I don’t know everything but, I know enough to know how horrible you’re being.” I crossed the kitchen. Only a foot or two away from him now. I let go. I let the anger fill me up and I spit it back at him. I reminded him of all of the horrible things he’s said to my mother and I. I remind him that he kicked my brother out too and how he hasn’t heard from him in months. That he pushed everyone in our lives away. I told him how much he’s hurt me and how I couldn’t wait to move out. “All I ever wanted was an actual father. A real father figure I could look up to. And all i got was you.” I spat the words out. “Fuck you. Get the fuck out of my house” he yelled. His face contorted into rage and hurt. “Gladly.” I turned and moved towards the front door. I heard the door to the garage slam shut. Another beer drank. Another cigarette smoked. The cold bit into my skin as I left my house. I didn’t know where I was going but I knew I need to leave. My feet took me away as my head raced. Nothing felt real anymore. I let the tears flow. My face wet and cold. Alone.