A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Calm Before the Storm: A Writer’s Block Story

I’m in a writer’s block. I’ve convinced myself not to think. I’m not the same person I was months ago and I’m so grateful for that. However, I’ve just been too scared of going back to the same place I was that I haven’t been letting myself live. I’m too hard on myself. I don’t give myself any credit. I don’t believe a compliment because I think I know best, and what I think I know is devastating. I think I’m okay. Though, the idea of not being okay terrifies me and restricts me from growing.

I feel like the static you accidentally change the channel to but quickly switch away from. Except, that’s where I live. I am the cringing echoes, the sudden jerk, the annoyed grunt. I am a sigh that wants more than what was given on my plate whenever I know I can just get up and serve myself another.

I feel like the sight of fine china smashing against the newly installed hardwood floor. Except, that’s where I take myself for vacation. I throw myself into what I convinced myself is the unknown, but I know where it’ll take me, even if it’ll hurt me. I am the anticipation of failure, the surprising stillness of slipping, oblivious to the world around me, yet willingly crashing into it. I know I am worth something, but I’m too scared to know my real value so I break myself instead.

I feel like the moment when you tiredly walk into your room, shut the door behind your numb bones, and realize you’re alone. Except, that’s where I was born. I was raised in a violently silent cage I locked myself into. I’m not sure if I should feel relief and contentedness for the thought of being able to stretch my heart into the sky; or, I should feel empty because my heart will stretch until it is no longer in my body.

I am the calm before the storm, but I get to decide what that storm brings. I got lost within myself, not away from myself. I sabotaged myself into thinking that the pouring could stop me, but I am ready to parade my path into this world. This storm’s details was sculpted by a fresh mind, a healthy shell, and a radiant soul. My heart will fill and pour through my smile, my words, and my art. The way I want to live is to be grateful for who I am and what I have. I’m ready to believe in myself and give myself credit.  I’m ready to live again. I’m ready to be thunderous.

“I compare life to art sometimes. Like, if I make a drawing and someone doesn’t understand it and they hate it, it’s okay because I know someone will love. So if someone thinks my laugh is annoying, I don’t care, it’s my laugh. No one has and will have a laugh like me and someone will love it. So, I learned to love myself by not caring what other people think. I swear, these are tears of joy.” – a dancer at the football game

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