Who we are is intrinsic. For a long time I felt awkward calling myself “a writer”. Almost as if I was putting on a costume that didn’t quite fit me yet. The title seemed too much of a title. Writing is something I do. It is something I’ve always done. But it’s not title-worthy. Or at least, I didn’t believe it was until I realised who I am when I write.
Suddenly, my thoughts aren’t as loud. My mind is not as cluttered. As if nudged into single file, things start to make sense.
As these thoughts shove through the crowd to make themselves heard, I find myself picking them seemingly at random; propping them up next to each other. Draping them around each other – playing with each one until the fit is just right. Arranging these thoughts and weaving them together leaves me with a sense of relief. Before they became too much I was able to make something of them; create an understanding of myself for myself, and for others. By throwing the weight off my shoulders and onto a page, I give myself the chance to step back, take a deep breath. This is my bigger picture.
Like losing yourself in the repetitive task of needlework, this bigger picture requires no second thought. Once I’ve decided to make sense of things, the bigger picture falls into place in what seems like a happy accident. The little soldiers that I’ve lined up one after the other have the greatest responsibility of all: to bare the weight of my context, experiences and understanding into the world. To make sense of me to others.
Realising that this is what I’m meant to do is both ultimately terrifying yet wholly liberating. It means that whenever I lose myself for a moment to put pen to paper, I am honouring myself in the truest form. It means that when others read me, they are reading me in the most honest way. It means that stories are mine to tell, that through me others can share themselves with the world. Romanticised? Yes! But that is the beauty of what I am able to do. What others create with sounds and images, I can build with words.
And that’s something you can’t do with an Instagram filter.