Writing is a journey of self-discovery.
About 10 years ago, I pride myself in an odd form of eloquence. Never mind if I was grammatically clumsy; I knew I had a voice and I knew how it would turn up. From teenage angst-filled poetries and ponders about the world to adolescent struggles, I wrote unabashedly. I wasn’t afraid to be myself; or of myself.
I wrote despite judgments from peers, I wrote seeking some sort of asylum within early Tumblrsphere and hopefully, friends who would see my pleas for help (I was suicidally depressed). Years passed and certain struggles don’t matter as much anymore. My depressive episodes are carefully managed. I started to learn that opinions should only be released when it fulfilled these criteria:
- When it’s asked for. Only with discretion but never 100% of its entirety. That’s because it’s best not to show your hand. (Just be mysterious and hard to read.)
- When it’s a legitimately wise thing to say. Always, always be wise beyond your age. You can fake it till you actually embody the wisdom you’re preaching about.
- When it’s humourous. Or at least provide comic relief. Because who wouldn’t like a good joke!
With these beliefs, I started to speak less. Eventually, a few rough patches I went through added up into a traumatic reminder that I wasn’t good enough for anything. I started to accept that I would silence the very same voice that taught me to write. Like a wild horse kept in captivity, I ached to run in the wild but these very same thoughts shackled me down.
Yesterday I lamented to my partner about how I can no longer differentiate the difference between growing up and losing an identity. For that he offered no solution, it wasn’t because he was indifferent, he just felt it was a phase for me, a journey of “unshacklement”. Maybe he’s right.
Of course, I still write for my work, offering up some know-how in copywriting and translation. Occasionally fussing over how to make my Instagram captions witty and how to take a humorous jab at my friends Facebook statuses.
It’s just that, this isn’t enough.
So I found Medium and its many outspoken writers, offering up their works, values, opinions, researches, hopes, dreams, heartbreaks, struggles… I think I found the keys to my prison.
And when I hit the publish button, I might just find my way into the path of never writing enough.