There was not a moment where I didn't believe I was lacking some kind of skill or feature to be creative. Creativity was something you were born with, like my brother was. From the early days of my life, I remember my brother having a strong imagination. Many stories and ideas formed their way out of his mind and were put on paper. Wherever he was, my brother always drew a fancy robot or whatever idea he had next. I loved, and still do, everything that he did over the years, and I couldn't be prouder of him for following his passions and for being creative throughout his life.
Though I am proud, there were many days filled with jealousy over my brother's abilities—of his creativity. What would I have given to be like him—to get praised for my talent and create beautiful things? Eventually, I learned that it wasn't necessarily talent my brother was gifted with; my brother "just" put an immense amount of effort into reaching the point he currently is at. But how could a person like me, filled with fears and insecurities, who had no opinions of their own and had nothing to say—to go even further—someone who was lazy and never fully committed—how could I ever be "talented"?
The praising part must have been immensely important for little me—even though it is difficult to admit, it probably still is. My actions seemed to be driven by the need for reassurance. Someone, please tell me I deserve to be breathing—that I matter at least a tiny bit. And so I started to draw, just like my brother. When I realized other kids were much better than me, I dropped my brushes, filled with shame.
At the same time, I started to understand that my opinions had no weight; they were just words finding no ear to willingly listen. My parents, mostly my father, showed some sense of dismissiveness towards me. His lack of compassion and appreciation gave me feelings of being unimportant or, all together, just worthless. Now that my legs were numbed, how could I ever achieve a thing?
It wasn't much better at school; people weren't so much a fan of my quiet nature, and my insecurities hindered me from building deep relationships. I lost count of the times when I felt helplessly invisible to the world. But that's when I found literature—the power of poems and writing. Was this finally the thing I was made for? It didn't take long for me to notice I wasn't the only one feeling this way about writing. Instead of connecting with these people, I just fell into another hole of emptiness and the longing to be special—the longing to be appreciated. Quickly, I thought I was miserable at what I was doing, and maybe I was, but it shouldn't have stopped me. Why didn't I try to become better? Why did I give up on what gave me joy and a sense of belonging?
Even though I took a liking to creative things, I had a hard time calling myself creative or accepting others linking it with me. In my eyes, I sucked at what I was doing; therefore, I didn't deserve to be called that way. It took me some years to finally understand that creativity doesn't automatically mean you are perfect at something; it doesn't necessarily solve your issue of feeling unloved and lonely, and it definitely doesn't help your confidence to compare your creativity with everyone's surrounding you.
Still, over time, my insecurities grew, slowly blocking away the bit of hope I had left in me. My only escape from feeling miserable was drowning myself in entertainment. It didn't matter if I just consumed all the time; I had nothing to offer—I lacked value. Nobody would care if I just wasted away, swimming in colorful screens. Surprisingly, my habits didn't help much in finding my lost self-value. But I'm at a place in life where I want to be able to enjoy whatever I'm doing without the feeling of horribly sucking at it.
It will probably take quite a while for me to say this, but I’m not ready to give up yet, though sometimes—actually a lot of the time—it is difficult to believe these words. How can I grow in my writing when I constantly think I don't deserve to use language to describe my inner thoughts and feelings? And so I question if writing just might not suit me. Maybe it is smarter to give up and essentially easier than trying over and over again.