and then you emerge at 2:00am, wondering what went wrong with your life. So....why? Why the obsession? Because, oddly enough, it's what made me want to write again.
My story goes like this: Once upon a time, there was a girl that wished for words and breathed music. Quiet, mostly reserved, she wrote wrote wrote, holding on to the dream that she would keep on writing because that was all she knew. She graduated from her tiny high school, and spent The Last Summer at her cottage with her family. Then summer ended, September came, and she got on a plane to England.
Suddenly, the girl that had never been away from home longer than a week wouldn't see her family until Christmas. Traumatized, it didn't matter that her first year of university was in a castle, or that the gardens were dotted by the loveliest red blossoms or...anything—she wanted home. And there was only Shock.
She couldn't write.
Not when there were too many emotions threatening to claw their way out, not when she had to constantly bite her lip to stop from sobbing. She wanted to drown in music, and forget. The shock would pass. But it didn't. And it was this constant pain during too-loud silences, the bone-drenching numbness and the thought she would go insane—caught between homesickness and escaping the present—that drove her to Change.
She made friends, got involved, focused on grades. She still couldn't write—tried, and put the pen down, preferring black and white piano keys to clarity. Because isn't that what we write for? To make sense of situations, make order of the mess? She didn't want to clarify. No, confusion was a friend. If she wanted to change, she couldn't over-think—she had to be. And so her old writings gathered dust, only pulled out when someone wanted to understand her, handed to them with unsaid things like, "this was me".
Christmas came and left, the new semester in England started, and for the first time in a long time she was...Happy.
So many pages were turned since then, bridges burned, lessons learned, and the girl that had dreamed she would write forever lied about writing at all. Until now. And this is when Instagram comes in. You see, it's not its entirety that captivated me, but rather the realm of quotes that drew me in. There were so many. Beautiful quotes, sad quotes, sarcastic quotes that made you bitter at the images of the person they conjured. The idea that these collected words could apply to so many people, linking complete individuals together, amazed me.
Suddenly, I wanted to create my own.
I couldn't fully understand it at first, drew around the words and traced over their curved edges in an attempt to grasp the deeper meaning. And then I understood. There were many things that made it difficult to write: fear that I couldn't anymore, too many words that threatened to rise from a surface I had been contended to sit and watch, occasionally dipping in my finger to see what rings would form...but the greatest was that I had lost my reason to write. I hadn't wanted to make sense of the confusion around me because doing so would have been too difficult, while all my life I had written precisely to make sense of things, to find their truths. What was the point in writing when I didn't want to make sense of any of it? If the truth about stories, though, is that's all we are, then can confusion not be just as true as clarity?
I write. Not because I want to bring order to things (though the temptation always remains), put them in their perfect little labelled boxes, but because I understand that there's truth in any situation, no matter the clarity or confusion. I write, because I believe there's a truth to be found in anything, and I love love love how the same truths can be found in so many people.
So at the end of all the questions, it's not about why can or can't you write, but rather...
Why do you write?