Sometimes, when a day transitions from bad to beyond abominable and I can almost feel my residual sanity slipping through my fingers, I close my eyes and imagery floats before my eyes, the imagery of my escapade, my solace: I am underwater and the water is scintillating and a calming hue of blue. It is a place which is above mere worldly adversities. It’s just me and water bubbles gurgling through my nebulous floating hair with “Nothing It Can” by Helios playing in the background.
That is my happy place.
While my safe haven seems nothing more than an intangible concept, it is the only thing in the world that can almost make me feel enthralling yet complex emotions. I also find this solace in my writing.
I cannot pinpoint a particular day when I woke up and decided to put pen to paper, but I do vividly remember the turning point in my journey with writing.
I had read the last Harry Potter book when I was about 11-years-old, which was around the same time Leisure by W.H Davies was a part of my school curriculum for English. My unworldly mind was blown away. I was too young to fathom the beauty of the pain lingering with that poem (which I can today, now that I suffer from existential dread every other day). I wasn’t even mature enough to appreciate Harry Potter for its larger than life reflection of reality.
All I knew was that mere words could create a world that is beyond mortal imagination and could make me feel things that I didn’t even know existed. I too wanted to master the art of tugging at heartstrings and making people feel ethereal emotions.
Writing ended up becoming more than just a form of art for me. What had started off as words strung together to have a certain rhythm to them began to fuse itself with my existence. Every scribble at the back of notebooks and scraps of paper and every journal entry began to hold more significance than I realized. It was that idiosyncratic trait that helped me identify myself in a crowd, even if it meant nothing to the world. As a kid, who always had trouble expressing herself, writing was my savior.
What I didn’t realize was that there is a Joker to every Batman. Even though I was my art own protector, (and there was no knight in shining armor gloating in self-glory that I had to deal with), what I didn’t realize was that I had to deal with the villain to my story: my insecurities.
While writing helped me grow every single day, I was no stranger to society’s obsession with the performing arts. Every brown kid ever is au courant with how the world puts that graceful dancer that embraces every joy in the world with delicacy on a pedestal. I began to feel like my art was just as inconsequential as I believed I was. A part of me perished every time it dawned on me that everything I wrote will perhaps just fade away with the ink.
Today my insecurities still consume me to a point where I am shrouded with dark thoughts of quitting because I’ll probably never be good enough.
However, I have been lucky to have discovered my thing, my art. Owing to my art, I have been lucky to have discovered parts of me, to live every day a little better than I did the previous day. Like every terrible phase of my life, my writing saves me from my burgeoning insecurities as well or at least attempts to.
It is an awful feeling to feel like you’re not good at that one thing which makes you, you. But it’s all worth it when you realize that your piece means something to someone somewhere, even if it holds some significance in only one person’s life.
Everyone has their thing. It’s just a matter of time and place until they discover it and embrace it. And once they do, they’ll know that going on is worth it. It doesn’t matter if it’s your profession, your hobby or means of venting, it’s worth it.