‘…People are rivers, always ready to move from one state of being into another. It is not fair, to treat people as if they are finished beings. Everyone is always becoming and unbecoming.’ – Kathleen Winter.
Lately, I’ve been in-between. In-between writing and not writing. In the space where I’m certain and uncertain. Where some things give me joy and things that used to give me joy just don’t hold the same promise or meaning. Where I am left with the processing that comes after life has happened, and your mind is in the ‘what next?’ stage. My inner voice is fragile in this space. I seek reassurance from others, when what I really need is reassurance from myself, from a strong inner compass that believes what I am doing is the right thing. It’s a strange place, this middle ground of uncertainty. I know what I am meant to be doing, but my weird brain has other ideas. It insists on time. Time for thinking, for breathing. For writing it out, whatever ‘it’ is. Other people have a sense of urgency. What my mind really wants is to slow down. My head is a mess and swirl of thoughts, good and bad. Critical and kind.
I don’t believe in boxing identity in labels and never swaying off the path. I may test as an INFJ, and sometimes, that is helpful, personally – because I know I need meaning and purpose, I know that I can rise myself by lifting others, that I derive happiness from being of use to other people, inspiring others to be who they are and shine. I have a deep desire to see justice done in the world, for human rights to be upheld, for people everywhere to have liberation and the freedom to live their lives in peace. Part of the reason I chose writing was because I felt that sometimes, the pen can be mightier than the sword. I still believe that, even though lately, that pen seems tarnished. Writing is part of a tradition of ideas, a place where we can give hope to others, to hold back the dark, or to explore the big questions. The past four years of my life have been some of the hardest I’ve experienced, for different reasons. My sense of self and confidence have taken a beating. Of course my mind is therefore a messier and harder place to live. So how do I allow myself to become, in this next stage of my life?
Despite it all, I am still writing. Perhaps writing has taken on a new kind of urgency, in my mind. When I don’t write, I’m frustrated. It has become a kind of blood-letting, a way of spilling out the contents of this messy mind. Yet I’ve allowed writing to become harder than it needs to be. A struggle that should be a joy. The work of this becoming means I need to find that joy again. Perhaps it begins by reframing writing as play, not work. As playing with words, with ideas, telling stories, painting pictures with language. The best writing I’ve read always leaves me with a sense of wonder, of learning something new, or making friends with great characters.
I don’t want to force myself to write, but at the same time, I need structure. I’ll be doing NaNoPoblano (Rarasaur’s acronym for national blog posting month) in November, as a way of kick-starting this journey again – of writing about things that I want to write about. I’m still writing poetry and posting it on Instagram, attempting to reach 100 Poems. Fragments is still going, and I’ve almost come to the end of the first draft, which means it’ll soon be time for editing. Yet I also want to think about new ways to write, experimenting, and being creative in other ways. To become, we have to challenge ourselves, try new things, step off the path a little. Be less afraid to have the hard conversations, to be vulnerable, to be seen. Allow yourself to grow from your pain, instead of retreating. That is what I am trying to do. To grow, and become more myself.