January 5, 2013

Sifting through the Madness for the Word.

Photo: Jenn Lui

Your one voice is different from everyone else’s.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.

But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

~Mother Teresa

I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. Poetry, short stories, journal writing—it’s all helped me move through some very difficult times in my life and, truth be told, it’s been my saving grace. Although I’ve always shared my art openly, my writing leaves me feeling raw, exposed and with a sense of vulnerability. I find myself keeping my words hidden, close to me, my heart, where no one can find them or hurt me because of them.

Lately, however, I’ve been encouraged by some wonderful people to share my writing, which made taking that first step remarkably easy. It’s been exciting to begin this journey. I feel like there is so much potential, so much opportunity in sharing with others my experiences and growing personally in the process.

The thing is though, as I sit down to write, I found myself looking at the blank page and asking myself things like:

“Who the heck am I to share my writings?”

“What the hell do I have to say that hasn’t been said before?”

This, for sure, isn’t awesome to admit. Of course, I’d rather be confidently writing up a storm saying some profoundly new shit that’s going to blow people’s minds. But, I recognize that this is my ego talking, the ego that wants to stand out and say, “Look at me, I have important shit to say!”

Photo: Jenn Lui

Have you ever encountered this before?

I finally mentioned this to my partner. He is also a writer and inspires me every day as he supports me in sharing this passion of mine. He told me that he, too, has struggled with the “who am I to write” conundrum and that his mentor had given him some good advice in the past. She told him, “Who are you? You’re the only one who can write about it because there is only one you.”

I’ve heard something similar to that before, but the message resonated in a newer and deeper way for me this time. So, here I am, writing these words to you, pouring my insides out. Which is the point of writing, no?

When I decided to take the leap forward and share my writing, the whole point was to express myself openly, to embrace and share my writing as much as I do my art. To honor all the mediums I use daily to deal with life’s struggles, while transforming my experiences into something positive to share and perhaps help someone else in the process. Through my writing and blog, my hope is to communicate all my creative and spiritual outlets. To gather like-minded folk around this so we can all help each other out. To acknowledge our light and dark bits and journey together as we befriend all of our different sides and experiences.

Through this, I’ve realized that I do have things to say. They may have been said a million times before, but it’s true, no one has said it like I can, no one has gone through life just like I have or sees this world like I do. And that’s the same for you. Your one voice is different from everyone else’s.

So, if there’s ever been something holding you back from expressing yourself, tell your ego “thanks, but no thanks.” Get it out there. The world needs us to be true, to be ourselves out in the light of day. And, yes, this has been said before, but not by me.

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” – C.S. Lewis


Assistant Ed: Amy Cushing

Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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