[W]rite of Passage

How did this little writing experiment change my life? How did it warn me to cut ties with a bad friend, take a break from medicine or make my vision board in March? Turns out I’ve accidentally been writing on my brain.

My vision of myself is constantly evolving. I love knowing that seeing/hearing/tasting something everyday can subconsciously help my brain believe that I’m a boss ass b*tch. The double edged sword of imposter syndrome is that the insecurities are usually unfounded; however, despite not being real, their impact is. And if your brain can be tricked into believing bad nonsense with all the real life side effects, why not try the same the trickery with the good stuff? I’ll happily bamboozle my brain with good nonsense that doesn’t exist. Yet. For some it’s positive affirmations said out loud daily, for others it’s written encouragements in the walls. For me it’s when I’m doodling with words: It’s when I’m writing that my subconscious slips out and dances on the page, bringing my real self to my own attention. If our brains are constantly constructing entire worlds with or without our permission, we might as well have some say in the blueprint. If your fears can feel real without actually having to exist then so can your dreams. Therefore: let’s normalise vision boards any and all times of the year.

I often feel like there are two versions of myself living inside of me: the daily me and the best me (both are real). Every now and then I catch glimpses of my best self and its (she is) special. I see it when I start writing what feels Iike random mundane thoughts and then watch these footnotes transform into full posts in real time. It’s my front row seat to my magic. I swear that these blog posts fall out of me at random and often inconvenient times. I usually only find out where they’re going when I’m already done writing them. I accidentally realized that I needed to break up with an ex because of these. I articulated a lifelong dedication to friendship that I’d never consciously thought about but has permeated my life. I once heard JK Rowling claim that she didn’t know what she believed until she saw it in her work. I couldn’t believe it because Harry Potter, with all it’s epic themes of light and darkness and obvious (though the ironically embedded in “witchcraft”) Christian imagery is no accidental work of art. Baffled, I asked myself how a woman with such meticulous and intentionally crafted plot threads (she’s the literal queen of the storytelling device: Chekov’s gun) could claim that she she wasn’t aware of what she believed when the fingerprints are smeared all over her work? I know now that your heart can sneak past you and turn up, unannounced, on the page and in your art.

While compiling my Kenya travel recap (coming soon!) I remembered that the trip was initially planned as a friendcation. It’s an uneasy thing to realise that someone you love shouldn’t be in your life anymore. The first judge was this blog: if I can wax lyrical, post after post, about the importance of friendship why was I unable (and unwilling) to write a Friendship Love Letter about what was arguably one of my most significant friendships at the time? Particularly when one about someone who was one important to me 15 years ago (who I’m not even in contact with anymore) practically fell out of me. Why did I, the eternal optimist, suggest while planning the trip that we buy flexible tickets just in case? I realized that the writing was on the wall a long time ago. I knew, I just needed to write it down (or not) to see it.

It’s unthinkable that this blog almost never came to be. I still don’t know what it is but I know that I love it and that it’s exactly what it’s supposed to be. I kept thinking I’d one day be ready, one day be comfortable sharing my writing, and by extension myself, with others. I spent years being afraid to call myself a writer, misguidedly thinking I’d have to get good first in order to earn the title. Then I told myself I’d need a pretty website first to start blogging. I forgot that to be a writer you must write. In order to get good you must write, to ‘figure out what I have to say’ I must do right by myself and write because, like Anais Nin said so beautifully: “the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”. I am excellent at visualising and have a big problem with follow through under this guise and often let it get in my own way. Through this blog, I’ve learned a lesson from one of my favourite poems (If by Rudyard Kipling) that it’s good to “dream but not make dreams your master” and “think but not make thoughts your aim”, to just get out of my own way and do the things I dream about.
The simple act of putting myself out there has given me permission to be a more clear, intentional and unapologetic version of myself. It has been like a magic mirror, it shows me a version of reality that’s up to me to bring to life. I still sweat bullets when friends and readers ask me when (not if) my book is coming as if it’s some kind of matter of fact inevitability. It’s thrilling and terrifying to ask myself: what have I put out that makes them so certain? Should I be more certain? Dare I? And while I wish I was announcing the release date (one day) I say this because several of my realities were born on these pages (I realised that I needed a much needed and restorative break from medicine right here, then took it) so watch this space!

PS: There’ll be a poetry corner at the end of this piece because I can’t be apologetic about liking “common” poems on my little corner of the internet (also some poets just say shit better than I can and it’s nice to think that I might be introducing some people to their beautiful words).

I hope you find the thing that spills you onto a page and brings you to your own attention. I hope you dance and get to bask in the glory of your very creation; may you sing and hear your inner voice or see yourself in the kindness you show people or in the dedication you give to your work, talents or family. I hope you receive a vision, and in watching yourself, marvel at the mystery and masterpiece that is you. May you do write by your brain (not a typo).