I was reading a few days ago how the best writers we’ve had in history happen to be those who have chosen to open up about themselves. And it left a deep impression on me. Great artists were mostly those who struggled half of their time trying to search for their identity, failing and learning, trying on new things, and repeating the cycle. Some of these artists endured failure for years, until they were known for their greatness. And in the long run, it’s the greatness that has defined them.
Self-discovery is hard—it’s like building a wall of legos, block by block. One wrong block and some bricks fall down. You have to put the right blocks at the right places. It’s excruciatingly challenging. However, unless we acknowledge our reality, our struggles, and come in terms with who we really are, we can’t be honest in telling the stories we want to tell. The stories I’ve wanted to tell for the longest of time, a lot of them challenge my own thinking patterns. Rather than answering my questions, they further confuse me—about my reality, my sense of self, of things I believe and want to believe. And there are things, I’ve been scared of writing because they show too much of me—of my naivety and sensitivity, of things I believe in, and of the things I love.
But I’ve considered this—it’s these vulnerabilities that make us human: fear of being rejected, the fear of trying, the fear of that answer that has been stopping us for years to ask the question, those periods of darkness that make us wish for the light, the fear of loving without being loved in return. Trying to act strong would make us one, but only in short term. For long term, we need something to rely on: we need courage from within. Putting ourselves out there in spite of fear of failure is being courageous (an amazing friend told me). It would kill us (if you’re awkward like me), but if it doesn’t, it’ll surely make us stronger.
My best friend, miles away from me right now told me a few days ago that she wanted her opinionated cum passionate friend (who used to feel every single feeling in the world) back. And she was right. I hadn’t changed. I had simply chosen to hide. I was like the last drop in the faucet that wants to fall, tries really hard, but the forces from inside despite all the gravity stop it from splattering.
And so, I resolve to share. It’s a road to self-discovery and you’ll help me achieve it. There would be struggles, battles (both inward and outward), failures (for sure), love and hate, a lot of thankfulness, some whining, a lot of music related posts, some conversations with coffee and chai, some extremely deep posts (so deep you’ll roll in them), my journey of faith (that waivers sometimes but is mostly the only reason of my survival and peace), my opinions (those give me life!), but mostly, my coming back to being myself again.
I’ve never been good with words. I always have to struggle with them. Think of a perfect word before uttering it. I marvel at people who are good with words. All these writers baffle me. They always remind me flowing rivers, never submitting to obstacles that come in their way, taking away everything that comes in their way, molding it as it comes.
And yet I choose to write. It’s probably because I have always been the one with overwhelming emotions. Emotions that are hard to control, emotions that are so overpowering sometimes that if I don’t get them out, I feel they would burst out of me. Anger, love, possessiveness, grief, disgust, joy—and yet I’ve learnt all these years never to express my emotions at full. People are never honest at receiving them. And my honesty has never benefited me, which is why I have learned the hard way and I’ve chosen to write. Thus my writings are mostly about situations which are trying to portray an emotion—or at least I try to depict them that way.
As humans we are always trying to find easy solutions to our problems. We take shortcuts, fail, take another wrong cut until we finally find a safe route, a route in the right direction. It wasn’t until very late when I found out that I could maneuver my way to writing when I couldn’t cope with my emotions. And it was even later when I could muster courage to show people what I had written. Until then I was an anonymous nameless person who would write on old papers, hidden diaries and anonymous blogs. I remember the time I had to deliberate for days before I gathered courage to show my writings to my friends and ask for their opinion. Gladly, they liked them which paved a way for my publishing a blog (this time with my name). Later, I began voicing my opinion through my writings whenever I felt angry or happy or filled with disgust. But I always kept underestimating myself even when I was offered editorial posts for my college club magazines and journals. Because I was never at par with how I felt and how it came in writing.
I’ve never been proud of myself, for I know there are times (almost always) when I begin writing inspired by emotions and then put the full stop at the end of the last word, I am looking at something which did not expect it would come out to be. It shatters me every time when I disappoint myself, promising I would try to do better so that I keep going. Other times I leave things in between.
It’s like trying to defeat an opponent for a long time, but the opponent wins each time. And guess what? You’re your only opponent.