There were times when I was lost to the world.
One late Spring, I was listening to Tegan & Sara’s “The Con” with a few of the more depressing songs on repeat and with a whole lot of feelings without any obvious end.
I got into some bad habits, too.
I won’t get into it. The point is, though, I wasn’t in a good place, was very lonely and didn’t know what to do.
One thing had always been there, though. The writing.
Notebook after notebook of poems and stories and sketches and things I would never tell anyone else but could definitely scribble out in places no one would ever be able to find them.
It wasn’t always that way, though. My first pocket-sized, green notebook had secrets, sure, but nothing truly exposing. It was too risky to be totally open in the only, and the first, notebook I wrote in. By the time I was in my early twenties, though, there were so many notebooks and loose-leaf pages lying around that no one would even know where to start.
My secrets would be safe.
“Nobody likes to, but I really like to cry.” Right?
I’ve never been much on tears. I mean, yes, I cry after funerals (for some reason a week or so after). And I’ll even shed a tear or two at the end of movies and season finales. As my lady friend has noted, I’m a sucker for father-son moments in movies. “Field of Dreams”? Forget it. I’m cooked.
Letting out emotions hasn’t really been something I’m comfortable with (and I’m still working at it), but writing let me get those feelings out somehow.
Have you ever looked back on your writing or drawings or even music playlists from years ago and found that there was some big time stuff going on that you didn’t really deal with until years later?
I didn’t really know how lonely I felt as a teenager and twenty something until I read some of those old scribbled out feels. I mean, something clearly hurt at the time, but I wouldn’t have said more than “I’m fine” back then.
I’m just happy that I found poetry when I did. I’m not sure without it that I would have eventually worked up the courage to talk about tendencies I had built up or even to approach a group of friends to talk about a particularly sharp habit I had developed.
In the end, expression has always been there.
It didn’t just need to be a piece of paper, either; it could be an instrumental track that plays while I’m driving home at night—just freestyle it. Get it out somehow. You know?
For me it’s words. In whatever form. For you it might be drawing or painting. Sculpting. Graffiti. Skateboarding. Dance. I’ve heard that horseback riding is super connective in an emotional way.
Whatever it is, I hope the people in my life find it and give themselves over to it. Because I did, I’m a lot safer with my body and my mind—a lot healthier because of it. Plus, I have a bunch of poems and other bullshit that maybe someone will find their way through one day.