I used to write scripts
when I was in the 4th grade.
I used to write songs
when I was in the 7th grade.
In 9th grade I wrote a poem,
which I often laugh about now,
but the pain was real then.*
But I don’t write anymore,
For loss of time or creativity,
For fear of rejection.
Perhaps it’s for the best.
What’s one voice?
I penned the above statement into a Moleskin journal in May 2003 just after my sophomore year of college. It documents the beginning or near beginning of a ten year period of my life, which I spent productively but not necessarily embracing my creative passions and to some extent trying to hide them.
I don’t think I ever lost my creativity, although at one point in high school, I reread all of my writing from middle school while I was home sick with a fever, and I convinced myself that I had already peaked as a writer.
There was an issue with time as I spent most of it studying for classes in college, and in graduate school, I was focused on my research projects and the writing that I needed to do related to those.
If I’m really honest with myself, though, I know that fear of rejection was holding me back. Instead of pursuing writing, I studied subjects where I could master the skills to find the objectively “right” answer, thereby testing my ability to retain information and problem solve while protecting my vulnerable self that would have withered under criticism of my creative works.
I’m stronger now in many ways than I was then. I am more convinced of the importance of my voice because it’s the only one that I have and now is the time that I have to use it. Even if I am the only one amused by my writing, it will be worthwhile to have written. Although I undervalued my personal happiness when I was 20, sometime over the last ten years I’ve figured out that making myself happy is of the utmost importance because the only person I have to spend the rest of my life with is me.
*As I recall, the poem was about my break up with my first boyfriend. Hopefully, I will unearth it so that I can feature it in a Flashback post.