I used to be afraid that eventually I would run out of ideas.
That all of my words would run dry and I’d have nothing left to say.
But I’ve learnt that my writing is a gift.
It’s God’s abundant grace spilled out in black and white.
It’s not something that can be lost because it’s within me.
As long as I have breath in my lungs, I can write.
Because my DNA is the alphabet strung together.
My blood is the stories of my ancestors.
My heartbeat is the poetry of life.
I create because I was created.
This is my purpose, this is my life, this is me.
I think my whole life I’ve been trying to squeeze myself into a box.
There is this particular type of person who I’ve always believed I am supposed to be. This girl is intelligent. She’s scientific and she’s loud. The kind of person who always knows the answer and readily volunteers it. The kind of person who always sticks their hand up, voices their opinions and doesn’t let anyone scare them.
I’m am slowly coming to the realization that I am not that girl.
Since finishing my studies and stepping away from the arduous pursuit of intelligence. For the first time I’ve given myself permission to be the creative, romantic, whimsical person I’ve spent my whole life suppressing.
Suddenly, no longer bound by the labels of a major I have been free to pursue the things that really make me feel alive. Namely words and the compelling task of piecing them together perfectly.
And it feels as though I’m fighting everyday to prove my worth.
Because society says success looks like a hefty paycheck, a stable job, a clear direction. I had this wonderful idea that once I graduated I would glide effortlessly into a job. That I would jump into the world of adulthood and land gracefully on my feet.
Except that daydream was promptly shattered about five minutes into job hunting when I realized that path was not going to be for me.
Endless piles of paperwork are not for me.
Sitting behind a desk all day is not for me.
Mindless work to secure a salary is not for me.
My heart longs to pour itself out in poetry. My hands ache with this need to create.
It seems that my art is no longer just the thing I squeeze into the hours I have spare but what my whole day revolves around.
And art is anything but certain.
Art is mystical, emotional and ever-changing.
This calling makes me uncomfortable because it’s anything but conventional. I feel the pressure to conform. To be the university graduate who gets a steady job and makes her parents proud.
I, like so many others have bought into the lie that my worth is found in other’s opinions of me.
It’s not true. Their opinions don’t matter. It’s all just noise. Noise that prevents us from doing the real work; the daring work our hands were called to.
So of course my opinion doesn’t matter either, but I will give it nonetheless.
And to that end I will say, here’s to the ones who dream. Thank you. All of you for the work you do. You are all valuable. Your work is important and necessary.
Thank you all you authors and poets, you give words for the feelings I cannot express. Thank you to the scientists whose minds are never satisfied. The ones who cannot sleep until they figure out how things work, even if that means pulling things apart and stringing the pieces back together again.
Thank you to those who spend their whole lives working on puzzles I cannot begin to fathom. For the ones who design buildings, take stunning photographs and raise children.
For the ones who make history come alive again, give me music to dance to and fix me when I fall apart.
Each and every one of you make this world go round.
And my heart breaks at the thought of us carelessly snuffing out your song.
Imagine a world where musicians never played, philosophers never pondered, teachers never instructed, astronauts never flew. Imagine a world where we never dared to dream.
We are quick to celebrate those who frequent stadiums, operate in theatres and grace the red carpet. But there are the humble few whose work goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Those whose worth is underestimated.
So to you I say this, don’t give up. Just because we fail to recognise your worth, does not mean your work isn’t valuable. Keep creating, studying, showing up and giving it your all.
As for me, I’m sick of being a square peg in a round hole. Squeezing myself into a box I was never meant to be in.
I’m tired of trying to live up to the unfair expectations that others place upon me.
I long for this world to be a safe place where all of us are free to be our most authentic selves. That choosing vulnerability wouldn’t be considered brave but commonplace.
But I guess it starts here. With me writing these words to you. I will lay my cards on the table in the hope that you will do the same. My courage will spark courage in your heart and yours in anothers.
So this is me. I’m not loud, scientific or overly intelligent. I’m a writer. A dreamer. A hopeless romantic. I’m a square peg.
I might not fit society’s definition of success but that will not deter me.
“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach