It’s happening. I can feel it. Change is coming. I once read that self-development happens over a long, slow gradual path. And that we barely notice the changes as they are happening. People tend to imagine that one little switch that changed everything. Even when we tell our stories, we use this narrative. We talk about that life changing moment or that life altering truth.

The truth, I hear, is very different. That the path of a thousand steps begins with the first one. We normally don’t remember the effect each step had. And we compile a thousand steps into one story, when every step is a story. That’s how our brains work. They look for the simplest explanation and ignore everything that contradicts it.

I used to think I had low self-esteem. I don’t think that’s the truth anymore. It may not be high, but it’s certainly not low. I thought having high self-esteem meant no more insecurities or anxiety. That’s not true. These things have remained with me. I’m getting better at handling them, day by day. Sometimes, I succumb to my insecurities and I hide inside my shell. Sometimes, I don’t.

The future used to scare me. It still does but something has changed. I’ve changed. The fear of finding a job after school use to worry me. Not anymore, I believe I can handle life’s challenges. I’ve developed skills, skills that people will pay for once they deem them valuable. I’m also creating jobs. I’ve employed a few people. Unfortunately, I can’t pay any of them yet. But one day, I will.

Most days, I wake up happy. Today, I woke up, reached for my phone and started playing music. I was smiling. Every now and then I would laugh as I read my twitter timeline. This is different from the routines I’ve had in the past. I used to wake up tired from smoking a joint before bed, and going to bed high. Sometimes, I would wake up feeling drained from jerking myself off to sleep. Then, I would jerk off again that morning and take a bath. The shame I felt would linger with me for the rest of the day.

Now, I wake up and I read, write or mediate. I try to do one of them every morning. Meditation takes 10 minutes, but the benefits last for the rest of the day. Writing takes 30-60min and when I’m done, I feel better about myself. You see the pattern? The return on investment is crazy. Every day, I become slightly happier.

I once heard that, if you want to make it as a writer it’s got to be ‘write or die’. That sounds too dark for me. Maybe it’s how I heard it and not how it was said. However, write or die sounds like the lifestyle of a certain type of writer; a Hank Moody type of writer. The sort of lifestyle where writing is the only thing keeping you sane and afloat. The sort of lifestyle where writing is the only thing keeping you from slitting your wrists, or jumping out that window.

I prefer to write so I can live. Life isn’t the same when I don’t write. I’m addicted to the chemicals it releases in my brain. I’m addicted to working. I’m addicted to my self-esteem. Writing allows me to live, to live in my fears, dreams and insecurities. It allows me to live me in my own skin. So, I write to live, it’s the only way I know.

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