In college I had the blessed opportunity to hear Nikki Giovanni speak. She was as wonderfully profound in person as she is through her written word.
She was passionate about how important words are to her and conveyed that message; although, I must confess that it wasn’t until the wee hours of this morning that I completely received it.
“You must be unintimidated by your own thoughts because if you write with someone looking over your shoulder, you’ll never write.” -Nikki Giovanni
My soul would always have so much to say but I got in my own way and became the main someone looking over my own shoulder.
Last night was a turning point, my soul would be stifled no more.
I cried last night out of frustration, “Why do I feel this way? I should have expected this.” I had become so ecstatic about something I had been told in a short period of time only to have that excitement disappointed. And then I felt as though the response I received was one that told me I had no right to feel the way I did because “such is life.”
I was pissed with myself for allowing myself to get to that point and be hurt.
But when everything was shared and said and done – I elongated my back and decided that I should not apologize for the way I felt and that I had every right to feel the way I did.
No person can be told by another what they have the right to feel, regardless of how the world works. If there are any “Not right”s associated with feelings, it is any person outside of the feeling who does NOT have the right to dictate to you (or me) how we can feel or what we are allowed to feel. They may disagree because they do not feel the same way but that does not diminish the fact of how you feel.
Feelings cannot be boxed into context.
It is my feminine birthright to feel.
But for so long, for too long, I despised my tears and resisted the emotions storming in my chest. No more.
In feeling the way I did and communicating that (regardless of the response I received or whether the other person felt I had the right to feel that way or not) I had all the proof I needed to be reassured that I am becoming the sensitive woman I have, for the last year or so, wished to be.
I went to bed at 5:50a after writing 16 new poems, not including the one-liners I penned and intend to let simmer until I am ready to add to them, and I woke up to more poetry at 8:30a.
At first I was like “Really? Two hours and some change in sleep is all I get and I have to wake up to my mind still buzzing with poetry?”
But this was an affirmative answer to my prayers sent up in the form of started and neglected poems. Since this year I have tried so hard to start writing again and every attempt until this morning/last night had been crap.
It was crap because it was forced.
I tinkered with structure and tried to be prolific on purpose rather than just let my soul flow through the tip of my pen like it did when writing came so easy for me.
I have always had a big heart. But my inability to express my emotions verbally often left me tongue-tied. Writing became the nervous system I lacked. It allowed me to feel and to process on paper. I smile, weep, laugh, get angry, allow sadness, and heal through my writing. Perhaps some will say that makes me a coward. But perhaps that is what makes me a writer.
I choose to share in the hopes that it will remind someone that they are not alone and assure them their unique voice is valuable. We may feel and process differently but we all experience the same emotions even if for different reasons and we all have something to say.
Speak up! Leave your mark. The world is listening…