‘By embracing the power of words, writing became the voice that defined my lifelong purpose’
I often wonder why I started writing all of a sudden. It wasn’t even my intention to write in the first place. Growing up, I imagined myself in all possible realities, but being a writer was never one of them. Now that I have been doing it for the last three years, I think I finally have an answer to that question. It’s because I observed things a lot and felt a lot, and it was all too hard to process and keep suppressed. Additionally, I never felt comfortable talking to people. Whenever they expressed their feelings, emotions, or even their minor issues with me, I felt short of words to console them or make them feel that I cared. Even walls can listen patiently, but we don’t talk to them because, in the end, we crave some words of kindness, some words at all, that will heal us.
One day, I woke up and decided to be a writer. I decided to write because words had a deeper connection with my fingers than my lips. I thought now that I was writing, I would never have to speak to people. But quite the opposite happened. As I wrote things and then read them over and over again, a lot of things got cleared. My thoughts were organized, and instead of wandering here and there, they were just perfectly assembled in one place where it was easier to pick them up anytime I wanted. The slower I wrote, the more comfortable I felt around myself. Writing brought me closer to people, and I was able to connect with them on an emotional level. From there, communicating was not an issue.
I am forever indebted to myself for having the courage to write things, the best ones and the worst ones too. I am grateful that even when I wrote horrible things, I somehow managed to be proud of them. I respect everything that I have written so far, the silly things more because they are proof of my growth. If I read an old poem that is crazily cringe-worthy and nonsensical, I don’t throw it away or delete it from my computer. It will always be there. Those poems and stories have made me a better person. All my aspects are developing because I gave words the power to dominate them. And when I see my phone’s storage mostly occupied by my poems, notes, and stories, I feel this urge to love myself a little more. It’s hard not to love your hands when you type something new, it’s hard not to love your imagination when it imagines the impossible, and it’s hard not to love your voice when you recite something that came directly from your heart. It’s hard not to love yourself when you have dedicated your soul to writing.
My true point is that now that I have made an alliance with words, they flow through my throat patiently. I am now able to understand people, and I can actually console them by speaking to them. It started as a way of running away from talking, but it ended up making me a better speaker. That’s why we say that life is full of uncertainties. You need to try everything to be certain about the things that are meant for you. How would you know what you are meant to do if you don’t start by doing everything?
And I tried things too. All else faded, and writing stayed. Writing is such a noble thing to do. Making art out of letters is the most amazing thing in the world, and being able to heal people while you are healing yourself is the bravest thing one can do. That may be the reason why I am never tired of writing. It makes me feel like I too have a purpose in life, it gives meaning to my life and adds a spark to my overall personality. I am so glad that among the hundreds of other arts, I chose this one. I don’t think any other art could have given me this kind of satisfaction and joy. I love that among the infinite professions in the world, I chose to be an artist, one who is good with words because now, this is me, and this will be me for the rest of my life. Of course, I will get to find a hundred versions of myself, I will try my hand at everything, and I will help people in many other ways. But in the end, I will always give my poems and stories the power to drive me crazy. In the end, I will always want to be remembered as Shafiya – the one who was brave enough to write.
The writer can be reached at [email protected]