Everybody has their own way of expressing themselves, escaping reality and understanding it. Some, for example, use music, photography, or painting. Others sport, dancing, or acting. Me? I like them all and use a bit of each – choosing which one to use according to my various moods and aims. But writing has always been my favourite tool, for it captivates and fascinates me in such a way that my heart seems to long for the act and even get ill because of abstaining from it. I therefore write as a hobby, as a need to do so and as it’s lover. As a bonus, I get to help others and enrol in exciting adventures. But, sometimes, I question God asking why is it that I enjoy and am reasonably good at (or so they say) writing. Why not have some other hobby? Something more people would smile at and applaud rather than roll their eyes and not be interested in?
I used to be one of the best athletes in my class! I was so good at running, doing the splits, swimming, jumping and playing all types of sports. My PE teacher was always so proud of me! But ever since I got depressed, my body felt tired and sore. And now I can’t even take a few steps without puffing and my chest aching. I look at the medals I’ve won and find it hard to believe that the child that conquered them was me, and that I was super active and a huge fan of Tarzan, wanting to be like him someday.
I used to be the class’s artist! Painting and drawing away! Everyone would look at what I had done and try to copy me, asking what my technique was and where I had learnt to do all I did. But now that all seems so far away and lost. Even though I always draw during classes and sometimes at home, I don’t like to show people what I’ve done any more. It’s not good enough. It’s crooked. Too black and white or too colourful. Too fancy or too simple. They’d laugh and hate it! Or – even worse – they’d love it, show everyone and tell me I should draw more. I just wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure.
I used to be the best actress of school. I’ve always got to get the best roles. I was nominated Princess Jasmine for the Aladdin play and told I’d be a famous actor when I grew up. Acting classes were always my favourite ones – no matter how much the teacher shouted at me for not getting my lines right. I was capable of memorising things quickly and really live the character I would perform in every way – I’d think, act and talk like them, and would sigh when I had to become myself in real life again. But now I’m too shy to even say “hello” to people, too scared of making mistakes. I can’t memorise anything any more and even thinking about having a crowd focused on my actions makes me panic.
I used to play the piano and recorder, and present to hundreds of people. I used to sing with no problem at all for I never considered how many people were hearing me. I was told I’d be a brilliant singer and should record my own CD. But nowadays I don’t like singing to people in general and it takes an awful lot of effort to sing a whole song without crying or quitting halfway. I only play the recorder and piano when nobody’s home so that they don’t tell me things I don’t want to hear – that I should practise more or that I’m good, for the tunes I play are played by my inner self without me noticing, not really by me.
Dancing makes me happy, but I’ve never been good at it. Photography is something I’ve always enjoyed, but I hate showing people what I’ve taken a picture of for they never seem to understand its meaning. I see the soul and hear its cry, feel the warmth and hear its melody. They just nod and think, “I could do better”. Knitting takes up far too much of my time and I cry when I make a mistake. And that leaves me with my old companion… Writing.
Thank you, Writing, for always being there for me. For not leaving me like all my other hobbies and gifts did. For believing in my potential and hearing all my secrets without judging me. For being the only quality I’ve had that I still am blessed to have. I have no idea why God has given me such a strong link with you and might never find out, but I don’t mind – as long as you promise to remain my friend, console me in times of trouble and laugh with me at the ironies of life.
I love you, Writing. Don’t leave me. You are all I have left.