Chapter 1: The beginning …of my words

I have been writing the next blog post for about a week and half.

I know that seems like a ridiculous amount of time to spend writing just one itty bitty post. It is.

I wrote the bulk of it in one sitting and have since been going back every couple of days when I’m not procrastinating with the TV, or working at my “real” job, or travelling on a plane. Still it’s not done.

And then a friend said “Just post the thing already.” Said friend is always trying to get me to stop stressing so much and over thinking. It was around this point I realised as I am stubborn and anal, I’m not going to just post that post.

Instead I’m going to post another one.

This one.

Currently we (you and I) are working our way through the beginning, for some the beginning is the easiest. For me I feel like I’m revisiting the beginning, my hiatus from writing and from being connected to myself in that way has been so long that it’s kinda like the beginning, but worse, because I feel I should know better by now, or have a clue where to start. The beginning is where you must overcome fear and doubt, and just do, and sometimes I find that very difficult.

A few weeks ago I decided to put everything I have ever written into my laptop (specifically into Scrivener – best writing program I know of!) It’s a very slow process. I have notebooks from when I was 15 laying around somewhere, about 12 years worth of neurotic note taking and storytelling…

While typing everything in, (of which I’m about 5% through so far…) I have of course picked up on some of the things I have written and cringed while putting it in word for word. That’s what I am doing – word for word, no editing. I wrote the words on the page so long ago, just as they were – raw and beautiful, and that is how I am recording them now.

You may wonder what exactly I hope to get out of this.

I wanted everything in one place, I wanted to be able to back up my work to Dropbox (also awesome) and to my external hard drive (because I’m that anal) in case something ever happened to my hard copies. I also wanted to see how far I’d come. I wanted to revisit some of the places (in my heart and in my mind) that I had been to in the past, and see not only how far I had come as a writer, but as a human. Have I changed? How much? Is the essence of who I am on one of more of these pages? Will I be able to see it? Will I recognise myself, no matter I have been through? Is it in my voice?

I wanted to see if I could feel how I felt while writing the words I can see from so long ago. I have had trouble in the last year letting things in (it’s been a crazy year) but I feel now that I have come to a place where I want to feel, feel everything, including my past.

Will I remember how I felt when I wrote those words down all those years ago, will I remember where I was, who was influencing me (or what!).

I did remember. Sometimes more than I wished I had. Sometimes it’s like I have completely blocked out whatever was happening to me at the time and I can’t remember who or what even lead me to write. Other times it’s like looking back on a previous version of yourself and you sit there and think ‘Really? My god you naive little twit! Pull yourself together!’ Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh on younger me, it’s how I have come to be the me that I am really.

And this is how I have come to the next part, sharing a piece with you. I decided I should pick something from my past, read it, and really try to be a little sympathetic to the younger me. It’s not her fault she’s nineteen. I tried to read the work and try to remember where I was, how I felt, and appreciate parts I had perhaps written well, and see if I can spot any improvements (one would hope…)

So here goes, I’ve chosen a Poem called “Boy” written on the 5th of Feb 2004.

Time is like a landslide
Where I blink and it’s tomorrow
The colour died in my eyes
And my heart is full of sorrow
The days I thought were yesterday
Have now become years
And all the smiles I remember
Have left me only tears
The ring of eternity
And the promise of his heart
Have slipped from my hand
And I’ve fallen apart
I look to the heavens
And I see only stars
As beautiful as they are
Giving no answers to my eyes
My head in my hands
As I’m crying on my knees
Please give my angel back
I cry, I’m begging please
He held me so warm and tight
He’s missing from my soul
Will time heal this gaping mess
And let my heart be whole

Wow, so how do I feel about this? This is just over 8 years old. So much has happened to me since…

So strange that I cannot remember when I wrote it, where, or why. The mind is powerful, blocking out things that cause us pain, over time, it heals all wounds they say. The beauty (and pain) of writing everything down is having the ability to look back, and remember those feelings. I guess it’s just whether or not I want to.

Funnily enough I don’t believe I was writing about any boy in particular at this point in time. Perhaps writing from a feeling. It’s the feelings that stay with us. Something made me tap into a feeling and this is what came out. There was a quote on Facebook a few weeks ago, let me track it down…

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

And I think this is so true, I also think I was both channeling a past self and a future one (as wacky as that sounds…)

I’m wondering if the “feeling” is something that may resonate with not just myself but others too. That’s kind of the goal of writing really, for me anyway, is to tap into feelings, and write them in a way that reaches people and makes them feel too. Do you feel anything when you read this?

How could I have made this better? Or perhaps still can, I can now edit this and make it better.

This is not the very beginning of my writing, when I find more I think I might post a piece or two. But what I can see so far is that this is still me – I don’t mean my emotional state (although I can remember and if I let it, I can feel it too) I mean the voice. It seems I still sound the same. A slightly different me, a younger me, but I can still hear my voice. Those of you who have known me a while may be able to confirm better if you can hear my voice of not. And those new to me may even be able to tell from just reading my posts and comparing.

Another thing I have noticed from reading back over some of my old stuff is how much more honest I was. Over the years as I grew older, for some reason I actually didn’t grow most honest and open, rather closing myself off, I became more self conscious, not less. I was fearless and honest, and it was real. And that is something I would definitely like to tap back into.

I’m not sure I have made the beginning any easier for myself, but I feel like…I’ve begun…and I’m real.


One thought on “Chapter 1: The beginning …of my words

  1. Ali – that poem is just PERFECT – leave it exactly as it is…It evokes feelings of love and loss and learning…I can completely relate to all of these emotions past, present and future…Once again your writing has inspired me and I thank you for that.

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