Self-care

The thing about writing is this, especially if you do it without holding back, the more you do it, the more there is. 

Since I started this practice of writing 200 words for myself daily, the thoughts and ideas have been pouring in. 

It’s not a matter of whether I’ll be able to fill the blank page anymore. It’s about whether I can get everything down in time before it’s all lost. 

Words are slippery things. Ideas are even more so. 

I initially thought that allocating time and headspace out of my day to write something that’s just for me would take away from the work that I do for clients, for business. 

On the contrary, it’s made my brain feel more elastic, stretching itself out to fill the demands of what the workday requires. 

I suppose that’s why they tell you on planes to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then only on those in your care. 

In the short term, it might seem selfish. But there’s a long term rationale to it. 

How can you take care of someone if you’re not around to do it? That’s why you need to survive. 

That’s why self-care is vital. 

Sterile

Somewhere in between graduating from university and today, I lost my voice. My writing voice, that is. 

The ironic thing is that I’ve been working as a writer, which meant that my writing became something functional. A piece of writing had to provide information, had to be part of a story, had to sell something. 

“Art has no function. It is not necessary,” said Gertrude Stein. 

By making my writing functional, it had stopped becoming art. The joy of art is in the work, not its result. And somehow, along the way, I lost sight of that. 

I lost the sense of play and exploration that comes with putting words and punctuation together in odd and exciting ways. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to write stories just because.

As my voice grew smaller, so did my Self. 

And I became accustomed to sterility in my surroundings. To the point of invalidating my own emotions. 

“You are not supposed to feel this much,” I tell myself. 

“Okay, you’ve felt sad, angry, overjoyed about this for long enough. Get on with life.”

I was trying to be stoic, but perhaps I’ve misunderstood what being stoic means. It’s not about denying emotions or suppressing them. 

Emotions are meant to be felt, to whatever extent they present themselves. 

It’s what you do with them that counts.