People can tell me a lot of things, but may the voice I listen to be my own.
– Jill (2014)
Have you ever sit quietly and do nothing but listen to the voice in your head? Have you keep quiet for a few days just to see if you are invisible? Do words and phrases appear randomly and before you know it, an idea is form?
At most time of the day, I observe analyse and wonder. I take notice of the little details that people often miss, like the flowers that grow between the cracks of sidewalk or a little boy’s smile at a stranger. At the quietest of night like tonight, I ponder about the thoughts that I drown out with activities throughout the day. Sometimes I’m scared to hear myself think as I wonder from the most mundane to the most profound things.
While observations and wondering come naturally to me, writing doesn’t. I spent my time staring at the blank screen waiting for inspiration to flow in. When it does, it is usually at the dead of the night, right when I am about to fall into a deep sleep or when I am at work.
Thoughts often fire like bullets and words are often jumbled; if I don’t take the time to process before it slips out of my tongue or punch onto my keyboard , it would make nonsense. When I manage to come up with a sensible draft, I edit it so much that the number of revisions I had before I hit ‘publish’ button for each post is simply embarrassing.
But I continue to write, because through writing, I find my voice. I find a platform to express my musings and explore my creativity.
I write because I have opinions. In a world where we are expected to abide by the superficial social cues to blend in, I don’t speak out, even if I have so many things to say. I don’t voice them out because I like to listen to what others have to say. I let people talk especially when they need a listening ear. Sometimes I feel that my opinions bear less weight as I have less to say.
It’s difficult to express myself because I am always torn between two sides of myself; the good and the bad. I usually put up a good front, being optimistic and carefree. At times when nobody is looking, I catch myself dwelling on the pessimistic thoughts, which I brush off quickly. I contradict myself so often that I am once criticised of always changing my mind. I don’t deny because I am sometimes torn with what I truly feel and the words I think people want to hear.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
– Mahatma Gandhi
I enjoy solitude as much as I enjoy company. I am a person you wouldn’t notice on first glance, just another face in the crowd. In gatherings, I don’t speak a lot; I stay hidden in the shadows of loud and vibrant friends who are comfortable being in the limelight. Sometimes I think I am invisible. If there’s one thing comforting about being in the background, it is the people who notice you will usually be the people who genuinely care. At least I like to believe that they do.
I started a blog in 2005, treating it as a private diary. It is easier to write about your deepest thoughts when I ignore who my readers are. But the truth is, in a public blog, readers matter, especially if they are acquainted to you in real life. Several years ago, I posted about the notion of death, which concerned my relative so much that he alerted my parents. I am still fascinated about death and afterlife, about how fragile life is that a single incident can cause everything spiral out of control – a good example, the MH370 incident.
Somewhere along the line, I stopped writing what I feel and write what I want people to view me. I portray the best version of myself, and I twist my thoughts to make my writing as vague as possible or to slid it in hidden meanings behind stories. I put my guard up when the main purpose I started a blog in the first place is put in words what I feel. Because writing is my way of letting go of things that I hold on.
My priorities in life are different from others. While people hunger for fame, wealth and success, I search for something that comes naturally to others – happiness. I do not know whether my writing will lead me there, but all I know is I will continue to write. I will let my voice be heard, without saying a word.