by P. Braithwaite
I’ve forgotten what it means to write for myself. So much of my writing journey has been about longing: longing for my father to respect my craft, yearning to be paid for my work, yearning for more readers and recognition. The longing was palpable, it would keep me up at night or force tears from my eyes, but the irony was that the longing was an incubator. The yearning was safer than the achievement of my goals. Though I wanted more (and still do), I was content being ignored. There is a freedom that comes with no one to disappoint.
There’s something pure about the ability to easily please yourself.
I’ve forgotten what it means to write for myself. I’ve forgotten that, at the core, I am a kid with a stutter who uses letters to articulate the sounds she can’t pronounce. I’ve forgotten that writing is my safe space, and if there is anything that life has taught me it’s that we must be fierce about protecting the places we feel safest.
The world is large and challenging. People are holograms disintegrating and reorganizing before our eyes. Our communities are unstable, and it’s not going to mellow out anytime soon. We must protect the ports we find within our storm. We must anchor ourselves to the things that help us through. We must never forget our own gratification because the paradox is this: the more we indulge ourselves, the more helpful we are in the world.
I don’t know if I believe in religion. I don’t know if I will ever find a path, but what I know is that if you have a pathway to your inner temple it’s time to make the pilgrimage, and if you know where the altar is: be it within yourself, your yoga mat, your journal or your blunt, kneel before it in supplication.
Reverence is never a bad thing. All things are spiritual and filled with joy making potential.
I’ve forgotten what it means to write for myself.
Luckily, I’m beginning to remember…
Where’s your safe space?