“Periodically we have tension build up in our lives that requires a release of some kind. Some people cry; others punch; some find a creative outlet. What is your release?”
When I was young I would hit things. I admit it wasn’t the best way to deal with stress or disappointment, but at the time it was all I know how to do. So I hit things, like the wall, and like my pillows, and I would scream into the darkness as if someone else would hear me and echo back my sentiment, but in reverse. I had absolutely nothing in my bag of tricks to get out of the tailspin I would find myself in from time to time. Instead of dealing with it, I was only letting it burn out, a slow burn that never made me feel good even though eventually it allowed me to move on.
Then, on my birthday one year, I got a journal. I don’t recall who gave it to me, or which birthday it was, but I do remember how I felt that day — like I could fly. For the first time I had an outlet for my feelings of inadequacy, for those times when I just didn’t want to keep hurting my knuckles and still have no relief. But I didn’t know what to do with it, not really. Those first few entries were vague, and virtually pointless, but they were a change from the ordinary. They were the initial forays into a type of creativity I didn’t think was possible back then. They were my way out of circumstance and reality at the same time.
It was hesitant at first, a way to transcribe what happened throughout my day, but eventually, by the third journal or so, it became a way to get out my anger, my fear, and my abandonment issues. It became a real escape from a reality that seemed to spiral farther from my control than I would have liked. It was only in those moments — when I was sitting at my desk with pen in hand, scribbling down my thoughts — that I felt truly alive. And it still is.
Except now, of course, my journal is out here for everyone to see. It’s no longer my private thoughts for just me to look back at later and marvel at how much I’ve changed. Now it’s interactive, but it does the exact same thing it always did, since that birthday so long ago that I only remember for the thin book in the wrapping paper that I originally thought was an address book. I’m so glad it wasn’t an address book, that whoever gave it to me thought it would make a good gift. Because it has. And it keeps giving back to me every single time I sit at this computer to type out another entry.
It’s a sweet release indeed.