Before I took writing serious, I used to scribble words and sentences from books I had read on paper- then it didn’t mean anything to me. My childhood was nothing if not imaginative, I read to escape something at that moment; I don’t know what it was, maybe my reality, it is all hazy now. When my thoughts became scribbles, too, it seems I was writing because I could create the reality I have always wanted. I just can’t put my hands on it, I know there must have been something. Something why this means so much to me.
I could tell you it didn’t mean so much to me when I was growing. Because my mother hated how I tore up papers from old exercise books to write. She says to me often, why you are wasting the papers, this won’t take you anywhere. I never thought of writing taking me anywhere, I was writing to create replica of the characters I read about in books, of my favorite lead girl character in Sugar Girl, about I and my father, our little bond. I didn’t know writing could take anyone anywhere.
One semester in college, I made it my lover. I was depressed in school and failing all my courses that semester. I hated school so much: I know they tell us you could become anything you want to be when you go to school. I didn’t want to become anything or anyone or be anywhere. Drowned in my own sadness, I started writing. I found myself in an unsafe place, writing down my thoughts was the therapy I craved for away from the reality society expects for us. Writing, for me, became the revolution that was never televised but changed me. If I wanted to be anything then, I wanted to become a creative writer. It is still therapy, for my tired soul when the world drives me crazy.
Nothing so much is expected of me, whenever I write. God, this means so much to me. It is never about expectations. Look around, so many expectations, from your parents, relationships- that leaves you tired and weary with self-doubt worrying if you were ever likable and worthy. It just wants you to bring your pen and paper to the table, and tell us what you want and feel. It cares about how you feel, expectations don’t care.
Freedom is why I write. Pen is mightier than sword. What does freedom mean to you? Is it leaving for college because you get to attend late night parties? Is it being so absolutely free in an unfree world that your very existence is rebellion? I would say the latter, writing feels same way. Rebellion on paper, creating every kind of character that doesn’t fit to society’s standards. Writing gives me the freedom to become anything I ever wanted to be. I know it sounds cowardly to you. But this is power to me.
Words: Rejoice Obike