There’s a certain romance to defining ourselves.
A woman. A father. A whore. A lawyer. A tyrant. A saint.
All these labels come into place and tell the story of Us. We move in haste and give them meaning.
I’m an only child, I don’t know how to share. He’s divorced, there must be something wrong with him. She’s unemployed, a failure. I was hurt yesterday, I will use you today.
We speak in labels to make sense of the world. One tag a time, we untangle our lives and give meaning to our pains.
The alternative is accepting there’s no meaning.
No greater purpose.
And we can’t yet welcome that alternative.
So what’s a girl to do do, other than make haste to find the labels and collect the meaning?
Creative. Beautiful. Daughter. Fat. Student. Smart. Lover. Liar. Nurturing. Weak. Fierce. Scary. Hurt. Coward. Powerful. Cheater. Lazy. Alone. Happy.
All labels, meanings that defined me. In one day or another.
And then there’s the label. The one on the work card. What mom tells her friends. What I’m still not-quite-worthy to call myself.
“I’m a writer — the girl hides, hoping no one seeks.”
When you’re a writer, you stumble upon this fantastic task. A quest, if you will.
Your purpose is finding that perfect metaphor in a seductive rhythm of sentences that reaches the depth of people.
Writers open us up and carve their way inside our souls.
If you’re writer, you examine Humanity’s intricate structures and pick that one small piece that triggers and touches people.
Writing is intimate. Writing is passion, it’s poison, it’s touch, it’s feeling. Writing is more intimate than laying naked next to another person, sharing a smoke, basking in the aftersex glow.
Before you write, you must feel.
Or rather, you feel, therefore you write.
Writers articulate our thoughts in a simple way. A way we didn’t even consider before, but now resonates to our very core.
That’s who you are as a writer.
Someone who touches, speaks to, changes people they didn’t even know.
A writer isn’t someone who listens to Emancipator on Spotify, writing on a MacBook, sound-blocked by Razer headphones, isn’t it?
A writer is a tortured soul, someone who’s open and raw and vulnerable and heals you through their pain.
You can hide and tuck away and read the writer from under the blanket, but the writer needs to undress and show himself in ways they wouldn’t show their mother, friend, lover.
That’s the magic of the writer. He tames the untamed into a docile sentence, in such an obvious way, it leaves you embellished forever.
So, why isn’t the girl capable of calling herself a writer? Why is she scared and feels unworthy of the label? Certainly people and even herself stuck worse labels on her, right?
When you also write for a living, you leave the romance behind. You cast aside the fire within and nurture your talent into earning a cheap buck.
And you run out of space. You lose sight of the act itself.
The undressing, the observation, the catharsis — they shrink.
And you’re left with the question — who are you, if your words are lacking of yourself?
How do you cope, if what made you unique is so easy to monetize?
Where is the wonder, where’s the awe?
2022 is the year I wrote the most, but is the year I wrote myself the least.
It’s the year where there was no pain to dislodge. There was power to understand and the power was understood.
2022 abounded of creativity and discovering new mediums and ways of expressing a thought.
But it was also the year of forgetting the simple act of putting pen to paper and creating something out of nothing. Of translating the labyrinthin of the soul in easy-to-comprehend sentences.
The reckoning has passed. When there was the time to purge, I purged.
The soul is free of labels.
The soul just is. For a short time, it exists inside the body and gives scent to the skin. Light to the eyes. Cadence to the heartbeat.
And then it disappears into nothingness.
Leaving no trace.
No higher purpose.
My soul is the wings of the seagull. The sand. The crispy air. The dry wine. The laughter.
And it lets go.