A friend of mine and I were hanging out, talking and passing the time in a coffee shop one late Wednesday evening. He was about seven years my senior, a well-cultured man, much more accomplished than I in terms of academia and probably would be in terms of our future careers as well. He spoke with such a certainty that was rare for people around my age to have then, and I was so intrigued that I had to ask where that came from – the poise that he so easily carried. He went over his life story to me and I listened to him quietly, letting him explain what life has been to him and what that meant. It was a long story, complete with its peaks and valleys. Then he smiled, looked at me and told me it was his time to ask his own question.
“So. Why do you write?” He was looking at the journal that had lain flat across my side of the table.
I smiled. The question was one I’ve answered many times before. Usually I’d give a generic half-assed answer like I just like to, but to return the favor of letting me in on his story, I gave him a more open answer: “I stop thinking when I write.”
He thought for awhile, so I elaborated, “It empties me and sometimes, I just need to be empty.”
“But if you need to empty, what makes you full?” He knew how to ask the right questions.
“Everything. Life. Like I’m not as certain and clear-cut as you. But before everything starts to pile up again, it helps me to compose myself when I write.”
He nodded his head, smiling. “Wow. We’ve really gotten deep.”
“No. To be honest, I don’t mean to be.” I explained. “People always tell me that. That it’s deep. You’re deep. But really, it’s as simple as meditation. It gets far too crowded in there sometimes. And sometimes, I need to deconstruct, to collect my thoughts.”
“And that’s why you write?” he asked.
“I stop thinking when I write.”
He contemplated on that for a bit and told me that he understood what I had meant. He said that writing had simply become my outlet and a way for me to organize myself. And I figured, he wasn’t entirely wrong.
To tell you the truth, there’s no real singular reason behind why I write. I just do it, thinking or no thinking, and the reason just varies every night. One day I write to feel a little better and then the next, I write to dance around my sorrows. I write to inform others of myself, and then maybe to remind myself of myself. Sometimes I write to make good humor. Sometimes to orchestrate tragedy. Sometimes, to punctuate a certain thought bothering me deep into my spare time and to empty myself of all the thousand tangled threads locked inside my head that wouldn’t unravel at my command.
It’s hard to explain. There’s a lot to say, to think; life relentlessly throws all these big and small things to talk about to you, and at some point, it becomes difficult to contain. Hundreds and thousands of different half-thoughts, emotions, and ideas. All entangled. It gets clearer when you do something about it. Like art. Like with me with my writing.
People like my friend have found their way of reining themselves in, to speak with confidence or a presence of mind – that’s something I can only find whenever I’m with my journal.
This is what I’ll be sharing to you, my reader. Inside this blog are the things from my journal that I thought were worth sharing. I’ll be unveiling the side of me that chokes on thoughts, spills blood, and gasps for air, as I go through adolescence and life as I’ll know it. Because to me, life is beautiful, life is tragic, and life is, well a huge goddamn mess. And for all I know you who could be reading this is someone who understands my thoughts better than I ever would.
An Illustration of the Desert.