I write because I was born into a generation that was taught to perform from an early age. We were taught that if we didn’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all (unless it was “constructive”, then you were to refer to something called “tact.”) We were taught that our opinions mattered and that every individual deserved the right to free speech. We were taught that someone, somewhere would benefit from our insights and our god given opinions. We were taught that everyone should be treated with the same amount of dignity.
We learned from a young age that out instructors were liars. We learned that based on physical attributes, people will respond to you in different ways. We learned that our generation was always going to be labelled as “attention-seeking” by the very same people who encouraged this behavior when we were younger. We learned that nobody really cared about what we think. We learned that once we started developing our own opinions and perspectives rather than spewing out the exact same things as the generation before us, we were considered “entitled.” But most importantly, we learned that equality can only be found in fiction.
I write because I need to. I was taught to express myself, yet I was shunned for doing so. By writing, I fulfill this need for self-expression while avoiding the instant rejection that comes with speaking your opinion out loud.
Socio-political concerns aside, the personal reason why I write is quite simple. I am an emotionally stunted person and can only seem to process emotionally charged situations by writing about them. Otherwise, I would need a lot of therapy. However, therapy fails to compare to the calm that surrounds my constant state of panic once I put a pen to paper. Watching the ink bleed out of the pen and onto an unblemished sheet of white lulls my mind to a soundless place where anything can happen or be written about. There is no one to offend when you’re alone with your writing, no matter how controversial or touchy your topics may be.
By writing, I attempt to understand the world and all its fallacies. I attempt to understand myself and how I feel about things that confuse me instead of walking around without an ounce of self-knowledge. Writing allows me to compartmentalize things that would otherwise baffle and disturb me. Seeing my words form on paper is just as therapeutic as screaming at the top of my lungs or punching a hole into a blameless wall; just much less violent and it produces less sound.
Writing allows me to slightly lessen the sense of betrayal that comes with realizing I was misled into believing I was special in a sea of people who were taught the exact same thing.