12.9 Who I Used to Be

Do you ever marvel at old drafts? Some of those lines are so beautiful, I’m a bit envious of the person I used to be, who was less knowledgable, true, but who had more passion and could write with such explosive zeal.

But the past is always seen through rose-colored lenses. I actually suffered a lot back then. The smallest things set me off into an emotional downward spiral and I’d often fall asleep in the fetal position begging the powers that be to keep me from losing my mind. However, I felt ennobled by my mental illness because many of my favorite authors suffered from severe depression. More than half of my top authors committed suicide. I thought it was a rite of passage for being a good writer.

The truth was, those beautiful lines had been glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel for me. I spent the supposedly “best years” of my youth in utter despair. I cried a lot, for no apparent reason. I might publish that writing one day. I’m not sure if it has any value to outside eyes, but I’m not being hyperbolic when I say writing saved me. After all, I write to create space, and without those lines, my depression would’ve completely suffocated me.

So I guess I’m not envious of who I used to beā€”that’s not the right word. Actually, I’m proud. Good job past me!

12.06 On Writing (Poem)

I write to create space.
That’s all there is to it.
I take a piece of this, a piece of that, a piece of myself,
And I rearrange it to my liking,
Fixing the words like adjusting a picture frame
A little to the right, or a little to the left.

I write because the world happens too fast, or not fast enough,
And like a scientist, I put the most interesting parts
Inside a glass cage, and work it through an intricate maze.
I collect samples to put under a microscope
To watch the cells divide and grow, or die in vain.

I write because sometimes I overthink or I can’t think at all.
I need relief! I’m exhausted and I want to sleep!
I write to create space.
That’s all there is to it.