When I was in high school, I wrote a lot. I journaled. I took extra English classes. I wrote poetry. If there was a way to incorporate writing in my life, I did it. And I did it for me. Because for me, it was an escape. A place to get lost for hours on end. A way to forget about reality for awhile.
As I grew older, I wrote less. I moved on from poetry. I no longer had English classes encouraging me to put pen to paper. And so I journaled. Journaling turned into blogging and now I’m here, hardly writing about those snippets of my soul that used to pour from me so easily.
I spent the last week trying to write something beyond a recipe or a tutorial or a how-to guide. I couldn’t. It was like convincing our cat that he does want a bath – it just wasn’t going to happen.
The words stopped before they left my fingertips. And if they did end up on the screen, they were fragments of truth that I wasn’t allowing myself to feel.
I walked away from the computer with a flashing cursor, no words written, more times than I could count.
Somewhere in the past ten years, I lost my voice. Well, it’s not lost technically. Maybe more so misplaced for extended periods of time. It’s not gone completely, but it’s so much less natural now. More forced.
I used to sit and have to cut myself off because I could easily write for hours on end. I’d forget about homework, forget to do my chores, and forget that I’d say I’d go to bed hours prior. I’d sneak it in between classes, after dinner, before school. I couldn’t help myself – I had too much to say.
It’s different now.
My brain is busier. I’ve gained life experiences. I’ve encountered sorrow that I never knew existed until it happened. I’ve taken risks. I’ve made myself proud. I’ve lived. I have so much more to draw from and speak about.
And yet it’s silence that follows these moments.
My angsty teenage heart had such an easier time sharing. Perhaps it’s that natural tendency to care more about what you do, what you say, and how it’s said as you age. When I was younger, much younger, I just acted. I did things without thinking of the repercussions or how it would change what people thought of me. I dreamed and believed without a care in the world. It was natural. It was me.
I’m an adult now, but I’m still me. More guarded. More aware of the pain of the world. More timid when it comes to sharing what fills a heart that’s been shattered before.
The world shouldn’t work this way.
It shouldn’t be natural to take steps backwards when it comes to self care and understanding and acceptance as we age. It shouldn’t be deemed selfish or overemotional. It shouldn’t shift in a way that makes us feel like the more we experience, the less we should share.
I want to be the person that comes out on the other side of this struggle. The one that can sigh that sense of relief, weight lifting off the shoulders, knowing that this too has passed.
Some day, I will be. Some day, my voice won’t be so easy to misplace. Until then, I’ll write. As forced and unnatural as it may be, it’s my only hope. I’ve got nothing left to lose.