I Didn’t Want to Write Tonight

I didn’t mean to write this when I sat down in polite fury to compose a short Facebook post. I hardly ever mean to write half of what I write.

Some days the thoughts in my head are too overwhelming to unpack. These are the scary, lonely, transformative days that I just want someone I trust and love to hold me silently while my mind takes a trip through philosophy and time.

Silently. Carefully. Lovingly.

The times my thoughts are heaviest usually come after experiences and conversations with people I don’t know or haven’t seen in a while. I’m sensitive to even the most mundane interactions – and because my brain does not operate like a filing cabinet, my thoughts become disjointed and scattered like a portkey-gone-wrong in Harry Potter.  My brain operates like any flat surface in my home: there are piles of mail and bills and to-do lists and bits of fabric and things that lose their way in transit from kitchen to bedroom.

Perhaps you can relate: I often hesitate to unpack my suitcase after returning from a week away from home, scared of making sense of the objects and memories I’ve brought back in the form of dirty clothes, airplane napkins, postcards, and hotel toiletries; and scared of creating the piles of items I will have to eventually return to their proper homes in my apartment. Hours after actually unpacking – in the middle of going through some random shoe box I found hidden under my bed – I realize in addition to unpacking I’ve also washed all the laundry, done all the dishes, and cleaned the bathroom and kitchen.

Some days the thoughts in my head are too overwhelming to unpack, until I can find a place to begin to make sense of what holds me hostage in the hallways of my brain.

I didn’t want to write anything at all tonight. But writing happens to me, not the other way around. Once I begin there is no stopping until all the dishes are done and I find myself lost in that shoe box I found under the bed.

What you end up reading is the carefully edited catharsis revealed, finally, after I’ve clarified the aftermath of tornadoes and sinkholes you do not see in my tormented mind. Writing is my freedom and release, both from myself and from the questions that challenge my role in the universe and the meaning of everything. The final draft you see is so much bigger than the tiny cavity that is Charis, where the ideas begin; as much as I sometimes feel I am a world of one, as much as I too often allow myself to take on the pain of everything. Writing is how I make sense of all that is or was or ever will be.

I am transformed. Every time.

Every time, I have a room full of thoughts I desperately seek to organize and understand. Every time, I begin as a small caterpillar who realizes she can fly after a life’s work of spinning in claustrophobic circles. Every time, I witness myself as a tadpole swimming in a puddle of mud, not knowing it’s only a matter of time before legs will cause me to leap out and away from everything I know. Paradoxically, every time, my transformation happens so quickly. I see the makings of an idea and story so clearly in the fabric of my mind that I rush to put it all on paper before the butterfly leaves the cocoon, before the frog is resurrected from its shallow birth-pool.

These out of body experiences that plant themselves in my mind are real consequences of my choice to allow thoughts to surge from the core of my being to my fingertips and onto your computer screen.

I write to show you my thoughts but also to make you think. I write in hopes my words help you view yourself and the world through a different lens. I write to spur you to take ownership of your own stories and ideas so you may use them to change the world. I write because I believe you can open yourself to be better than you ever believed. I believe in you.

Every sequence of words I consciously and rigorously construct, so what you consume is exactly the carousel of images projected onto the walls of my brain. Every word is intentionally placed and delicately handpicked to mean something profound – if it makes you read it again that is my intention. If reading it consumes you, that is my intention.

If the ending is abrupt and you find yourself standing in an empty, dusty, sandy desert looking at a stop sign, keep going.

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