I used to write.
No, not superficial blog posts. Not academic papers. Poetry. LOTS of poetry. Literary sketches. An occasional short story. Feelings. Emotions. Life.
The pieces that I wrote were not good by any means. I wrote them in high school, during the ridiculous turmoil that is adolescence. They weren't good and were quite depressing, but boy did they have heart.
Kim and I had this connection that we shared with no one else. You see, Kim was the best friend that I never had. She just got me in a way that no other person could. We both wrote poetry, lots and lots of poetry, but we didn't just write it; we shared it with each other, encouraging the other person's works, praising her poetic genius. Kim was always so much better at writing poetry than I was, but she always held my creations in highest regard. The two of us knew each other because we had exposed the deepest, darkest parts of our souls to one another and accepted them for what they were. She would write and I would write and we would pass our creative babies back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
Even after I moved away (that's another story for another time), we would email our poetry to one another. I remember one dark, upsetting night where Kim called me bawling her eyes out, sobbing so hard that I couldn't understand a word she said before she hung up out of the blue. I called all of our mutual friends, so anxious and worried and sick to my stomach for her because I had no idea what had happened and I was a million miles away. It turned out that her computer had crashed. That might not seem like a big deal, but that is where all of her poetry was stored - she was devastated because she had lost all of her poems, or she did until her father somehow restored her computer. The story is only important to tell because of one simple thing: it almost begins to express the importance of those creations in our lives. Poetry, was our way of dealing with the enormities of life, the thing in which we both were so desperately trying to find meaning.
A creative writing class during Senior year saved my life, and that is no exaggeration. Those notebooks are utterly filled with the epitome of my creative processes which reflected the deepest parts of me. The combination of words gradually became better over the course of the school year, the content less surface level as we dove deeper into finding our creative voices. Mrs. Stark, our teacher, pushed and pulled her angst-ridden students in her classroom to grow and learn and better ourselves through our writing, although we didn't know it at the time. That class saved me. Those creations saved me. She saved me. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to write more about that time, but today is not that day - flipping through those notebooks brings out so many emotions at once that I cannot begin to pick them apart quite yet. Yeah... nearly a decade later and those emotions are still quite raw. Those times were rough:
"I absolutely hated Oklahoma and I hated my high school as well. But my
creative writing class pushed me. It kept me going to school each day. I
literally woke up every single morning dreading the day ahead, but the
desire to be in that class gave me a purpose for that day.
I know that it sounds so silly and trivial, but that class gave me the
ability to express myself, and a place where I would not be judged for
my thoughts and feelings. A place where I was encouraged, where I was
told that I was actually good at something. A safe place. It was
FREEDOM. The ability to be myself. The ability to breathe in a world
where I felt suffocated."
Time passes. Priorities shift. People change.
I no longer write.
A little over two years ago, late at night while my husband of 10 months slept in our bed, I took out a composition notebook and began writing again and actually wrote a post about it (here), from which the above quotation originally appeared. I wrote three poems. Three. THREE. Crappy, cruddy, muddy, ugly poems. Shorter than anything I had ever written before and so distant from the emotion that I wanted to convey, I loathed them after a day or two. They were so awful that I shut up the notebook along with my frustrated tears and haven't written in it since.
Every once in a while, the urge to write comes along again. I pull out my Creative Writing notebooks and read the things that I wrote, remembering how much I adored creating those pieces of art with my words. The desire is still there, but the drive is not. Maybe the reason that I no longer write creatively is due to that same fear and disgust that made me shut up the composition notebook two years ago, or maybe it's because I don't feel that I have anything to write about.
The fact of the matter remains:
I no longer write.
It saddens me, too, because creativity is always how I have expressed myself. Even with this bitty little blog, I've shut myself and my emotions away when life gets too busy or too emotionally difficult to process. My creativity has been reduced to sometimes writing a blog post, designing and making jewelry, and taking photographs via iPhone which are all nice things but cease to fill the void in my creative-loving heart.
I want to fill the void.
But I don't know how to start.