Defending Writing

winnie picAlmost mid-way through my sophomore year, I just lost writing. I felt no want or even a need to write and the work that I was producing I didn’t care about. Having lost this practically innate feeling that had always been a part of me was strange and I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong. Can there be a wrong way of writing?

            At this time, in our creative writing class our teacher, Ms. Bundy, had us studying Magical Realism, which I didn’t really like anyways, so I blamed my not-so-enthusiastic attitude towards writing on the fact that I just couldn’t write Magical Realism. It was denial in its finest form. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write, but that I just couldn’t. Or this is what I told myself.

At this time, my life was the epitome of a teenage movie. I bathed in my teen angst. Writing seemed trivial in comparison to everything else happening because it seemed like everything was happening to me and I had no way to stop any of it. In the spare time I could wedge into my day, I used to write. I carried my journal with me everywhere I went. And now, my journal laid haphazardly in the space between my desk and my bed, mocking me, so I hid it underneath schoolwork and that was my new excuse; I was too busy with school to write more than I already had to.

I kept coming up with different excuses to defend the fact that I just could not stand writing. It wasn’t something I wanted to do. Writing became a chore. I watched episodes Criminal Minds, instead of revising a story or a poem, and I saw no problem in this. I went on like this through a good portion of the second quarter because it was fine. Ms. Bundy didn’t comment on how my pieces were lackluster or the fact that my notes turned into chicken scratch.

It wasn’t really until winter break when I realized how much I missed the act of writing. I missed having the drive to want to sit down and write anything whether it be amazing or absolutely horrendous. Winter break meant that I had an excessive amount of time on my hands. With winter break came a tsunami of various emotions, ranging from joy to desperation to anger. I felt heavy from everything I wasn’t writing.

So, I forced myself to journal. Every day, I made myself sit down and write. It didn’t matter what I wrote as long as I was writing. Honestly, it was a chore and I loathed it, but I still did it. I still sat down with my journal and wrote. Slowly, it began to feel familiar, less mechanical. I felt light again. I had to learn how to love writing again.

Winter break ended and I worried that I would fall into the same habit of creating excuses to not write and slide back into the same funk I was in. I refused to make writing my New Year’s resolution because no one ever commits to those and I needed to commit to writing. Making time for writing is hard and I don’t write every single day and I wish I could say that I did, but that’s not how it is. For me, writing is a way to take a weight off of myself and put it onto paper. If I could weigh my journal, it would weigh 2000 pounds.

There are nights where I choose writing over sleeping because I know I cannot carry that weight anymore, which is okay. Writing is a matter of making life easier because that is the only way I know how to.

Winnie Blay, Junior Managing Editor/Submissions

The Biggest Change

PICTURE BrianaMan is not only made of skin, flesh and bones, but also of personal history. What influences someone to grow and shape himself or herself into the person they wish to be, is heavily affected by their experiences. Each of us has a story, some tragic and emotional, some simple, all equally as impactful.

At the start of my teenage years, when I became far more aware of the world around me, I began to recognize the emotional depths of people, specifically my father. As a kid, seeing him upset always registered as something temporary, something he could mend with a good night’s sleep, and his favorite snack. Soon, I learned, it wasn’t that simple.

I learned my father had clinical depression when I was fourteen and he was admitted into a mental facility for the first time. The weeks leading up to his admission, he had drastically changed. He lost twenty-five pounds and all the color in his skin.

He had always been the kind of man who danced on tabletops in fancy restaurants and laughed loud enough for an entire room to hear. He empowered others with his wisdom and he was a role model. He was a man who, more than anyone else, loved the art of living. He was also a man who was fighting for his life.

He didn’t experience another episode until the months leading up to August of 2015. The patterns remained the same. He lost weight and ambition and on August 6th, he took his life.

Often times in dealing with death, people express the hurt in losing someone else. They describe the pain felt in never seeing them, hearing them, or being with them again. I felt a much different pain.

Losing him meant losing my knowledge. He was the one who stayed awake with me at three a.m. eating peanut butter only sandwiches and discussing the history of the world. Losing him meant losing perseverance. He was the only one who always reminded me I was capable. The one who pushed me into the pool to prove to myself I knew how to swim. He showed me that words were art and that with them I was capable of changing the world. Losing him meant losing heart and passion.

With any loss, other things are gained as a consequence. I’m waiting for those things and, slowly but surely, I am learning that they do come eventually.

-Briana Lopez, Senior Editor-in-Chief