Ever since I can remember I’ve used writing as a creative outlet and a form of personal expression, be it journalling, poetry, or song-writing. My poetry has often been inspired by a shift or transition, and I can mark the changing of seasons in my life by the poems I’ve written. It has always been a deeply personal part of who I am and something that I have shared with very few people. As I’ve grown older I’ve become less afraid of what others will think or say, and the need for self-expression has expanded. When I write a poem I feel like it is the complete expression of what I’m feeling in that moment. It usually involves some tears because it feels like I’m ripping off the covers and revealing the absolute naked truth of who I am as a human. It feels soul-baring. That being said, I’ve decided to share a poem each month with you here on my blog. First as a way to motivate myself to keep writing even when I’m busy with my life. Secondly as a way to grow myself as a person and cultivate my creativity. So with a deep breath, here it goes . . .
Words are old familiar friends
Always ready and willing to lend
The voice to my tangled thought
Whether I feel content or distraught.
And of late I have passed them by
Much too busy or stoic to cry.
I fear the disquiet in my soul
Always eager to make myself whole;
I am bewildered by the broken.
Convinced by the promise of work
To fulfill me and ease the hurt
I march on and on in this frame
Betraying myself with self-blame.
I long for a different perspective
To somehow feel less subjective.
I cannot be the only one
To feel so needlessly undone.
Therein lies the heart of my struggle.
Hurt is a natural human condition beyond our control.
Mankind is flawed and does not act as a whole.
It takes an exhaustive effort to be self-aware,
Now that I’m here let my soul be laid bare.
Perhaps I cannot be the change I wish to see
If the goal is unattainable where does that leave me?
All I can do is work and reach and strive
For the things that make me feel worthwhile and alive.
I pray my life is according to plan.
I wrote this one a couple of weeks ago when I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed with my life. I hold very high standards for myself and I’ve realized over the past few weeks that those standards are often burdensome. A big part of my personality and identity is achieving goals and doing things “the right way,” but I needed to learn that when I’m trying so hard to be perfect at everything, I’m preventing myself from doing anything well. Since I wrote this I’ve been treating stress and anxiety like the enemy it is. I’ve discovered better study habits, prioritized self-care and feelings of joy and peace are now, once again, front-runners in my life.
How do you express yourself creatively? How do you cope with feeling stressed and overwhelmed?