She hesitated. Well, it was all there. Right in front of her. Whatever she wanted to say. She read it over and over again. Was it really worth publishing? Would anyone care about her thoughts and feelings? She was so insignificant! It made for a lousy first post.
She used to be one of the best public speakers. The debate queen. An amazing writer.
She loved the rush of adrenaline that flowed through her when she made a point at a debate, when she thought of a rebuttal, when she argued with her opponent. She loved the calm charisma she exuded while making a speech, when her every word was heard in the pin drop silence she inspired. She smiled. That was something she still did. Something that gave her peace.
But there was something that she loved that she feared she had lost forever.
She had loved to play with words and pen her thoughts, her ideas. She loved to read what she had written long ago.But that had been a long time ago.
As she grew up and began to socialise, she made new friends. Friends who were jealous. Friends who considered themselves prodigal writers. They may have been so, but they would have done better not to discourage her by proclaiming that her prose was rubbish, her knowledge was subpar and that she really ought to stick to her textbooks because she wasn’t good at anything else.
However hard she tried, she could never escape a derogatory remark from them. Again and again, those around her put her down. This went on until she lived in fear of the pen and the paper. In fear of more deprecatory utterances.
She became quiet and unassuming. She let others weigh her down. Worse still, she began to believe that she was no longer the brilliant,enterprising and knowledgeable person she had once been. She became lethargic and her eyes told tales of her dead spirit and soul.
Slowly, the feeling of inadequacy had eaten her up, stripping her of her prized possessions. First, her happiness. Then, her self confidence, her hope. Now, it was threatening to tear her soul apart, making her question her very existence. She was worried.
She avoided writing. She feared her “incompetence”, as her friends put it. She longed to let her imagination soar past the horizon and roam the skies. She pined for a way to express her anguish. She wished for a voice. But she was afraid to say anything, anything at all.
After three years of being downtrodden, she had somehow gathered up the courage to start a blog. She just wanted to express herself and tell the world about things she loved. But she had forgotten, forgotten how to let the words flow. She had,for an hour painstakingly written a tiny little post, leaving out twice as many sentences she had rewritten while editing it.
She glanced at it again. The little words on the screen were the tiniest manifestation of her feelings. The most she dared to write. There was no display of an ostentatious vocabulary. No show of real literary genius. Nothing. It was nothing. It was plain and dry.
She didn’t want to publish it. She was somewhat shy, but mostly, it was her past and her downtrodden confidence that stood in her way. She sighed. She knew she’d delete the post. She stared outside the window at the pink-blossom trees across the street.
They were right, she thought defeatedly. This would never work. Who was she kidding? She’d never do it. This wasn’t reader worthy…
Something suddenly snapped inside her. Or was it a spark that had ignited within? So what? she reasoned. It’s alright. It’s your first post, your first time writing something and letting the whole world see it, it’s alright. You’ll get better, you’ll learn, you’ll improve, she thought.
Of late, her attitude towards life had been slowly changing. But that’s another story. She stared at the draft, and, with a deep breath, pressed ‘Publish’.
“We’re all here. We’ve all got something to say. But something-somehow-holds us back on many occasions. We get nervous. We’re afraid. We’re worried we might say the wrong thing and offend others. We’re worried that what we say may not have enough substance to be important.
For the very same reason, I’ve been shying away from expressing myself. For fear of being politically incorrect, for fear of being rebuked or put down, for fear of…many things, in fact. But you know what? I’ll never learn if I don’t stumble and fall.
I’ve been weighed down and pushed over and I’ve been tormented and maimed and hurt. But enough is enough.
I want to express myself. I want to show the world who I am. And for that, I’ve got to stop being afraid. I know how it feels to be put down. I know how it feels to want to get back up. They say life keeps giving you chances to get out of the mess you’re in, but sometimes, you’ve got to make your own opportunities that’ll help you move forward.
For a long time now, I’ve wondered what blogs really offer. Why they’re so important. And that’s it, isn’t it? Blogs help us say what’s been playing over and over in our minds. Blogs help us reach like minded people, share stories, smile and live happily. Mostly, it gives me the gift of anonymity I need right now, to foster my courage and help me remain unfazed by negativity and failure.
I’m going to tell people about what I love. And I’ll learn from others too. It’s time for me to leave behind all my apprehensions about writing. I hope to learn a lot from the journey that I will now undertake.
She scrutinised the published article. She heaved a sigh. It was a start.