I often ask myself what I’m writing for, what would be the best feedback about writing I would like to receive. I think this is one of the very rare things that I, at this baby step of adulthood and life, know for sure: I would like to touch hearts, spread love and give people the strength to go on, or simply to put a smile on someone’s face, like I was touched, felt loved, picked up and lightened up by someone else’s work. That kind of work is the work that’s fulfilling, that needs creating because what else do we create for?
We express ourselves. Yes, we have done that endlessly, flawlessly. Through our words, our clothes, our photos, our online presence, the tattoos on our skin, the eyebrows that are always carefully trimmed, and also that belly button piercings that we will forever regret. But what’s expressing ourselves for if it’s not for someone to see, to understand, if it’s not for connecting with other beings that speak the same kind of emotional language, that breathe the same kind of beliefs and attitudes? To remind them and ourselves that we’re not lonely in this world, that there might still be a reason to hold on to our little existence? To find some meaning in this meaningless life while secretly hoping that one day it would be our turn to be found, to be loved…
Last night, I sent a friend a Thought Catalog article and asked her to read it. She said, no thanks, and went on to tell me she never had times for websites like that, like those lists that tell people what to do and not do. I didn’t say anything in response to her comment, especially not that I was a contributing writer for Thought Catalog who writes those exact lists telling people what to do and not do. I thought she got a point about list articles because I don’t like to be told what to do and not do either. But I didn’t agree with her condescending attitude.
Firstly there are many good pieces on Thought Catalog. Secondly, list articles are not bad, trash writing. They are still ideas, still relevant, noteworthy thoughts and in fact, they do exactly what creating is for — they relate life experiences and thus, make people feel less lonely, less alien. One of my list articles about best friendships was read and shared many times mainly because of all the tagging, saying how true and relatable it was to their own friendships. If writing list articles means spreading love like that, I’m happy to write lists all the time.
Not long ago I found out this Tumblr blog that has the RSS feed of my blog among many other blogs without any link, credit or even post tittle. Obviously, I was angry but I was even more intrigued by all the “stolen” essays from other people gathered on this blog. I know I should be disapproving but I have to say it’s a beautiful place, an intimate collection of life experiences through different lenses. Lost loves, lost friends, lost journeys, nostalgia and sudden realizations of numbness in middle of youth.
Reading these entries with no title, no name, no identity feels like reading a piece of old paper stored in a drifting bottle that smells of sand and sea, or a forgotten diary with smudged letters and torn pages that is only discovered at the chunky roots of a big, old tree. There is something that resembles the ironic beauty of youth. Something that’s personal and soothing. Something that’s raw and real. Something that’s written for people, for souls, not for money or views. That’s the most important bit.
I was inspired. It struck me that I haven’t written any real piece of writing for quite a while. Or well, even anything real at all. I was honest but I was never entirely honest. I told stories but I always stopped at the surface, for fear of being exposed, of being truly vulnerable. I held tight in my heart all the intense feelings, the time that my heart was shattered into pieces and I ran away in the middle of the night to cry and to hide. The night I stayed awake in someone’s arm at 3 o’clock, left with the silence that emptied my soul when he was gone in his sleep. The people that scarred me, that stole something pure, something magical from my core that I could never take back.
Maybe it’s time I tell you about myself. Maybe it’s time I tell me about myself. To be strong, to be free, and of course, to touch hearts, spread love and give someone the strength to go on. So, I will be real and I will write. I will write because I want to write.