I am currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my favorite authors, and I got to a part in her book that really resonates with me. She made a vow as a teenager to always write, no matter what she was going through or what she had been doing. Every day for just thirty minutes. She didn't care if she had nothing to write or if what she was writing was shit, none of that mattered. What mattered to her was getting to write and her writing improving, without that being a conscious end goal.
When I read about her writing I think about when I started writing poems in middle school. I think the "poem phase" is a phase that we have all been through and the lucky ones were just able to keep up with it. Or, possibly the lucky ones were just so deep into their head to keep up with it. Either way, I would say that I started expressing myself through writing then. I knew then I wanted to write more, but I didn't know how or where to go. Not until I was out of a bad relationship did I think that I have spent enough time sitting in my head. I wasn't sure how to start or where to start, and to be honest I had no clue what "The Odyssey Online" was. But here I am.
Writing has been ultimately the biggest outlet for me. If you have kept up with my articles you know I have talked in depth about my toxic relationship, you know how I feel about abuse, you know that parental infidelity had hurt me as a child, you know what I think about religion and being agnostic, you know where I currently am in this world, you know my views on suicide, you know how I deal with anxiety, and you know how I feel. For some, this means that I have shared my personal business with strangers, which is looked down upon, but to me, it has been much more than that. I have reached a part of me that I have not been able to in the past. I am not sure if it is being vulnerable and transparent that has helped me reached this level of me or everyone who has ever thanked me for any of the articles I have written. To know that I have reached so many people means much more to me than anyone could ever imagine.
Maybe it's a bit of both. One thing that Gilbert does mention in Big Magic is that one should never write to help others or with the intention to help anyone but themselves. And sometimes, when I go to write I think about other people before I think about myself, and that makes it hard to write. Not that I don't care about other people or that my feelings should always come first, but I know how it feels to write. Writing everything that I feel - pain, anxiety, heartbreak, happiness, and even the joy of discovering new places - is for me, and knowing that others can resonate with that, is just a bonus. Writing for me is how it feels to finally do something right. That all that you have endured as a person has led you up to this moment, and for once you feel like you have a bit of reason. But I know that writing doesn't make everyone feel that way and I know that writing about my business and my family's business isn't what someone would think is a good idea, but that is okay cause it's my life to heal, not your's or their's.
Writing has allowed me to express myself in more ways than I could have imagined. And not just here, but anywhere. I used to write how I'd feel or what I would think during lectures in school, and I still write in a journal. I don't always write when I want to but I know how it feels after I write and I know what it does for me. It allows me to be all that I have ever wanted to be. It allows me to be as vulnerable, as transparent, and as open as I have ever wanted to be. As weird as this is, I want people to see right through me. Nothing to hide, nothing different, nothing new, nothing they would ever be surprised about, they can just take one look at me and think what they'd like. And as troubling as that might be for some, it's the most liberating part of my writing.