Writing to express and vent and create, to somehow find a way to tell my story.
|I often longed to be a writer. To be able to sit down and watch the words build on the page and know that I was creating something wonderful, something others could enjoy and take something from. There are moments when I need to write, when the words just flow easily from me and I feel that they are meaningful enough to belong in some kind of physical form. But as I carry on they seem to make less and less sense, seem to be less worthwhile. Slowly, I give up on whatever notion or tale I thought I had residing in my head. Some say to write what you know, others say to write only what you don't know. For me, I usually feel it is working best when I am saying what I feel. I believe that's because people have a need to say what they feel, to express their inner thoughts and desires and heartaches to other people. The fact is that we can't always tell another how we are feeling, the truth that we see in the different aspects of our lives. Perhaps doing so will hurt them, or maybe cause a disagreement or a division. Opening up and expressing ourselves then becomes a bad thing, becomes a thing that makes us feel that we are not relatable, understandable, sensible. That can be a difficult thing to feel about yourself, to be alright with feeling about yourself. This is where, for so many of us, writing comes in. The page doesn't judge, the words look to us exactly as we wish them too and it does not matter what someone else might take from them, because somehow once we have put them to paper they become independent entities. Now, I am a believer in the statement that the pen is mightier than the sword. I think the written word has incredible power, a power that should be carefully wielded. It also has the power to free us, free our souls and free our creativity. Free us from the confines of the things we shouldn't say. For now, that is the power of this ability to write that I choose to use.
The power of freedom, because I feel that I am in a cage. Now, if you were to know the full story it is quite likely that you would inform me that this cage is of my own making. I cannot disagree with you. I have put myself here, I have slowly built the bars up around myself. I placed the lock on the door, I threw the key far out of reach. Perhaps my defence is that I didn't realise I was doing it, or more likely that I didn't realise what the end result would be. I took a moment to follow my heart with too much faith, faith that it would not lead me to a hazardous cliff edge. When I reached this perilous place I came to realise how many of the people closely surrounding me, the people that I let accompany me on my journey, were very willing to push me off. I am not certain I have enough strength remaining to fight them off, but if I don't try I will be plunging to my death. It is a drastic analogy I know, but in my head it fits quite cleanly. My favourite place (it would be a big claim to say "in the world" but let's say "from what I have seen of the world") is a headland on the beach. There is a slight cliff there, not sheer but sloping and rocky. A small mountain of forest towers behind it adding to its feel of height. This place is special to me because it carries many memories from my childhood and my teen years. Significant family moments, important personal moments, a place I now take my children. It is my spot. I feel a sense of belonging there, like taking a moment there is a pause in any journey and I can catch my breath and try to regroup. There is also a loneliness in this place, but it's a rare occasion where that loneliness feels like a choice. I don't like to share this space or the way in which it is precious to me and so I choose to be alone there, whether it is physically or simply where I am in my head. Perhaps it is solitude rather than loneliness. To me they are different concepts, I suppose because one feels like a choice that is easier to accept.
I enjoy solitude, I am happy to admit. I am someone who likes and values that time to myself. For a long time it felt like a rare thing to me, one of the side effects of becoming a mother. We mothers are not supposed to say that, that we want time away from our children. It’s a thought that is very quickly judged upon sharing, as though we cannot love our children enough if we express a desire to have even a moment to ourselves. It doesn’t seem fair, to be blunt. I think solitude is good for the soul. I think we all need our own space to breathe and stretch in sometimes. Some of us feel the need for it more than others, some of us look eagerly forward to those moments when we may find ourselves left it peace I think. I belong to that ‘some of us’. But I, as much as anyone, struggle with loneliness when it enters my life. There is such a chasm between the calm feelings of solitude, the way it strengthens you, and the feeling of loneliness as it digs a deep, dark hole into your heart. I believe it has been said so many times before that the most miserable kind of loneliness is to be surrounded by people and let feel alone. The very feeling is a particularly familiar one to me. Perhaps this is where my cage comes in. Perhaps I built it in order to represent the isolation that I feel even when I am, in actuality, crowded. It shows the way that I feel cut off from those around me, those I should be open and comfortable with. I am not even sure any of those people exist now. I may still sit alone in my cage but there are no longer crowds around it. I sent them all away. And they went. So I am I really alone? Perhaps I finally am. In a way, that is exactly what I want. I want to be left alone to wallow in my mistakes, my anger at myself. I want to be left alone to work out how to rebuild, to move myself on to somewhere better. I want to do this alone because I never want to find myself reliant on another person again. I never want to find myself trusting someone that much again. Does that sound extreme? I believe so. How many people must say that at some point after they have been hurt? They say that because they no longer trust themselves, after making an error in who to trust. Most people would say I will change my mind, when someone else special comes along. For now I don’t think that matters, for now I want to be independent and alone and trust only myself.