I have written about my possible bitterness at not graduating class valedictorian during high school, on how much I somehow dread Christmas because it also reminds me of the death of my tita and lola, how attendance in our Christmas gatherings decreased year after year as people moved on and went on with their busy lives. There was also one time I wrote about how stupid I was for letting peer pressure get the best of me, although I chickened out into submitting that for another workshop session (but I still wrote it nonetheless).
These are the things that I would never have thought I would be able to admit to myself, to say it out loud just so I could affirm that yes, I did feel them. Instead, they found their way out of the hidden recesses of my mind, my memory, only to be transcribed on paper. What’s even more strange is that these are things read by strangers (or at least people I have only known for a few weeks in class). Not even my closest friends know about those things.
Maybe that’s what anonymity does–it gives you both strength and vulnerability at the same time. You finally get to face those demons that have been haunting you for the longest time and write about it and hopefully feeling a sense of relief, clarity even, whenever you’re done. It also exposes you to your imperfections; that you’re not as perfect, as strong as what others think you are. When you’re anonymous, it somehow gives you a mask, protecting you from direct judgments made by people. Or at least that’s how I felt.
Workshops also involves a lot of trust. More than giving opinions on how the writer should add more dialogues in the piece or any other possible improvement he/she can employ on the piece, it also involves a certain understanding that whatever is discussed and revealed within that circle stays in the circle. The fact that we didn’t really know each other that much since it’s the first time we were classmates made it easier. There was no need to expose everything. We knew each other through bits and pieces of our lives and this shared experience assured us that yes, it’s okay if we make fools out of ourselves. We were all in it together.
Back when I was taking General Psychology (Psy101), I remember talking about two kinds of personalities: easy to warm up and slow to warm up. Thinking about it, I might be more like the latter. Not that I don’t trust people, it might be my fear of being judged (and natural awkwardness and lack of social skills) that are contributing to this. Yet, when I write, I lose all my self-restraint and can’t help but write down everything.
Maybe, this is why I love writing. It allows me to take my mind off things by writing them down on paper. Whether they’re about lighter and happier topics or those that are too painful or embarrassing to admit out loud, I always find myself typing it on an empty Wordpad or scribbling them as fast as I can on a journal before my thoughts run out. I don’t even second guess (that much).
In writing, I can reveal myself.
*I hope this post made sense and is post-worthy to be posted. I was putting this off for a long time and finally, I got the time to actually write/type it down here and publish. School and org work has been taking up a lot of my time. I can’t wait for Christmas break.
Have a very happy Christmas everyone! 🙂