In the last few weeks, I’ve been immersing myself in writing through Write! – #CebuLitFest Writing Sessions, and spoken word shows, including Juan Miguel Severo in Cebu. There doesn’t seem to be anything like them—where you are encouraged to express your thoughts and share it with fellow introspective souls. Going to such sessions got the rusty cogs in my right brain to start turning again and those writing prompts got me to weave new stories, or old ones but written from a different point of view—some whimsical, some dark, but always a world to explore.
A part of me shies away from such expressive mental exercises. “Why,” you ask? Here’s a little back story about yours truly. I am anxious by nature. When I’m around others, I laugh like a goof, and other times I am that silent wall flower. Sometimes I feel like I can be the life of the party, yet oftentimes, I end up actually being socially inept—offline and online interactions. I don’t know if I’m confidently friendly or awkward instead. I’ve even entertained the thought of never writing about one’s feelings or perspectives because it felt useless.
“Ann Lorraine, that’s blasphemy!”
I imagine my fellow wordsmiths would say. I encourage you to write and express yourself. I’m merely being timid. But this will be one of those times I will ignore those anxious feelings.
What has the Write! Sessions taught me?
Writing—the thinking process, the drafts, the whole thing—is a beautiful thing.
What did I get from watching JM Severo perform on stage?
Emotions are a catalyst, and they help you express yourself.
It was the day prior to the actual writing of this article when I started trying to write about expression in written and spoken form.
Nothing came to me.
I stared at the screen and tried to type things. I didn’t feel the writing. I felt nothing.
Perhaps, it’s because I was trying to bury certain feelings or emotions (being recently heart-broken, char). The good news, I guess it was a success and I’m over it. The bad news is I was having a hard time getting inspired to write! Nooo…!!
I’ll let you in on a little secret of how I “overcame” my writer’s block. I started chatting with friends, different people, whom I admire intellectually. Communicating with them stimulated my thoughts… and consequently, my emotions. I say this last bit with hesitation and a little embarrassment. Why?
Emotions are something that can overpower someone. They can end up controlling you. A considerable amount of time, I try to suppress them (kids, don’t try this at home), but I try to look at things in a logical and rational perspective instead. Even though I tend to be overcome with emotional, I am glad to say that looking at situations both from a rational point of view and with feelings in tow is the best. It’s not all about tears or woes or laughter. It’s also about reflecting and learning. It sure helped me get through that personal drama I experienced at the end of July.
Sometimes though, emotions still get the best of me. The day prior this article’s writing, when I “overcame” that writer’s block—you know what I came up with? I’ll show you. Be warned though. It starts out okay, but then turns a corner and later it gets kind of weird. It’s a bit raw, but for the sake of demonstration, here goes.
Write, create, express, sing, think. Or don’t. But don’t let your mind grow idle, though you feel like there’s nothing gathering there but rust and dust.
The more I like someone, the more distraught I get. I overthink. I can’t think. I can’t even make my mind up on which of those two.
I tell myself
I didn’t want to write about love, or feelings. Okay now I’m gonna say this. I can be articulate, but to be honest, I think I secretly shy away from writing about emotions.
Yet this is here to confront me to do it. It shouldn’t really be something the matter, should it? It’s nothing. I bet it really is supposed to be nothing, yet again, girl, you make it a mountain.
Why am I such a fool? Whyyyyyy???!
This cycle repeats, again, again, and again, Time and again… Look at all these aforementioned redundancies! Cycle. Repeat. Again. Again! And? Again. Time. Sigh… I can’t do anything about it…but write.
You know what? I realize something. My mind is making a big deal out of this whole thing. Hypothalamus? Limbic system? I forget. My mind is making this boy to be something special, before I really even know that for sure. Maybe this is why I “love” him, and oh, how I hate him for it. I hate him because of how vulnerable I feel when I think about him. And I bet he doesn’t really even think about me…much. J
Oh who am I kidding? He probably isn’t thinking about me. Nature boy, how I hate you. I hate how you, or any other “flavor of the month” hijack my brain and suddenly turn up some weird music, with metaphoric butterflies flapping their wings about a mysterious forest waterfall. Where is my metalcore scream-growling head soundtrack?? What did you do with it???
Let me just go ahead and ruin the whole thing by telling you, by making it awkward. I don’t care. Oh yes I do, but let’s get this over with. I am a natural at it anyway. I sabotage myself. I sabotage everything. I sabotage.
Isn’t what I wrote funny? Both hilarious-funny and strange-funny? If you have such emotions, express them through art, through singing, writing, even just saying it out loud—that’s cathartic. You feel like being self-deprecating? Express it through safe and creative means like writing. You have a story to tell? Share it and invite people to look at the world through your eyes. Is there something heavy bugging you for some time now? Express it and after you’ll feel lighter. It’s a risk though; a terrifying, exciting, regrettable-or-rewarding risk.
What’s the recurring theme here? If you check, I said the words express, expressing, expressive, expression about 14 times. And, I also said write, written, and writing about 26 times.
This time, it’s your turn.