I have a love/hate relationship with writing.
It’s tedious, draining, and takes up time in my already limited days. It’s invigorating, delightful, and totally worth all the time I spend staring at blank screens and blank pages.
I look at some of my past work with joy, wondering what my next beautiful creation will look like. I look at some of my past work and cringe, wondering how I ever thought making this public or putting it in my private collection was a good idea.
I write to get out of my own head and back into reality, to escape the craziness of the world and my own anxiety-fueled mind. I write to make my thoughts valid, screaming my stories into the void and begging they will be heard so their existence will validate my own.
I write to change peoples’ minds and hearts, to give them strength, encouragement, support, and affirmation.
I write as a way to pray when the old ways of praying fall short. I write when the world and I fall short, when I am at the end of my rope and have no idea why I’m as stressed and upset as I am.
I write to make meaning for myself, to sift through my concerns and make them both important and trivial, to confront the void and to shape it, to squeal and scream in joy and frustration, to see the current state of things and laugh in its face with tears of pain in my eyes.
I write when I finally realize the world and my own brain are about to defeat me, and I muster up the strength and courage to click open a new document and spill whatever’s in me onto a blank page, because seeing its emptiness makes me fear that my mind might also be blank and worthless.
I also ignore my need to write. I don’t want to write when I’m overwhelmed and exhausted, when I’m too busy, upset, lazy, and apathetic; in short, when I need to write the most.
But while some hurricanes in my head consume me, I write my way out of the other ones, just like Lin-Manuel and countless others did.
And yet I worry a day will come in which I won’t be able to write my way out.
I fear the day will come when the world, my own mind, or my own anxiety and apathy, are too much for even my writing to overcome.
I write to take control, but what do I do when I realize this control is a facade?
Writing is hard. Working through the blocks and obstacles is difficult. Putting word after word can feel downright insurmountable.
But the feeling of being obsolete without my words, of not understanding what’s going on in my brain, is worse.