Time and again

Ironically enough, it's become extremely hard to write anything that I feel is heartfelt and of significant worth nowadays. I've been feeling so ever since I made writing my official career path, I think.

Funny, isn't it, since you'd think that because you're devoting more time perfecting your craft, you should be better at it and everything should come so much more naturally than it did in the past?

But this is how it's been. Regrettably too, might I add.

I revisited the old, first proper blog I ever wrote, Veritas Project, recently. It surprised me just how differently I used to write. So uninhibited. So candid.

In some ways, I wish I was back at that place and time of my life, and that I had utilised those moments more fully to revel in the emotions of that season more, to write more wholeheartedly. Because now that I am where I'm at in life, here in my 30's, there's a great difference in the things I'd write and how I'd write them.

Yet, of course, I'm not discounting the value of experience and where it has gotten me. I write now through the lens of someone who has seen more, who realises what she is capable of, and who now knows so many more precious things about the world and the seasons and rhythms of life.

Time and again, though, I keep returning to this point of contemplation that I need to put forward a more genuine version of myself whenever I write. Particularly when I blog for a wider audience, like I do here.

The difficulty here lies in the fact that having been a journalist in the not-so-distant past, my writing disciplines have been shaped to habitually involve the practice of self censorship. We do it all the time in the newsroom, although the reasons for doing so may differ each time. The words we allow to escape our keyboard are filtered: tapered down in its depth of feeling, politically correct, shifted and sorted to take on a supposedly neutral form, appealing to the average reader. Which is, in reality, probably no one.

Here in Blogdom, everyone is writing nowadays to garner as much Likes as possible. Building a band of followers that will faithfully swallow whatever you put out for them, just because they feel like you know them. You are like them.

For that is what is being peddled. Writers putting on a front of being an expert and knowing something special. Teasing readers with minimal prose, abandoning the art of it all, and replacing it with GIFs, memes, haphazardly compiled lists of things that nobody needs but everybody identifies with and wants to know about. A place where words are money, so make as much as you can, with as little beauty infused into those sentences. Because, what is the point in poetry? It is unnecessary and underappreciated.

Then there are those writers' circles, those exclusive associations formed amongst writers on social media platforms. Where writers rant and rave about the perils of the realms of publishing and lament the naivety of rookies seeking their way into the fellowship. Spouting advice like, "If your writing is rejected by publishers, it's because it's worthless. Please move along".

I somehow cannot fit into this landscape.

As it is, I already have trouble believing that I am a writer, and even more so calling myself one. And all this… this massive community of successful people before me; corporations who make profits from the words crafted by others; the formality of it all; the formatting of pages, columns, fonts; the rigours of being part of the publishing process… all of this feels stifling to me.

I want to go back to that spot where simplicity and freedom of expression were. That quiet corner in the middle of nowhere that I could sit at for as long as I needed to, use as many paragraphs and pages as I wanted, and express precisely how I feel without fear of judgment or ruthless editing.

Where it was just me and you, my darling reader.

I still want to tell my story. But (and this may be hard to believe, coming from a person with a history like mine) I am having trouble finding the right words.

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The countdown to nine

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Source: Red Orbit

I keep losing track of how far along I am in my pregnancy.

Of course, it’s easy to answer this in terms of months. But what I mean is in terms of days or weeks.

Most people (meaning family, friends, colleagues and the general public) tend to ask a pregnant woman how long she’s been carrying in terms of months. But it’s interesting to note that doctors tend to talk in terms of weeks.

Why so, I wonder. Perhaps the urgency feels greater when it is expressed in weeks. And even more so in days, but I think not many of us monitor the countdown to our due dates that closely.

Well, measure it in whatever way you like. The fact remains that my delivery date draws nearer and nearer. In a matter of months (3 or less, to be exact), I will be a mother and Deric, a father. This is still something that continues amazes me.

Currently, one of the things I look forward to every day is feeling Jamie (which is the name we are planning to give our son) poking about as he moves around in my tummy. It is a sign to me that all is well with him.

For people like me that succumbs to occasional bouts of worry, it’s assuring to feel little Jamie inside of me. It’s such a special feeling knowing that he is part of me biologically; so close and dependent on me, more than anyone has ever been in my life.

Even Deric has his own entitlement of privacy and space. But not Jamie at the moment.

My yet-to-be born son goes with me everywhere. He hears everything those around me say to me. He also listens to every word I utter as I live through each day – both the positive and negative. He absorbs the tunes I play in the car as I drive. He draws from the nutrients that I consume in my diet.

It is such a precious thing. I have thought this over in my mind time and time again. In fact, I want to cherish it more than I am doing right now, but am unsure what else can be done in order to adequately savour the moment while it lasts.

It will be great to finally meet Jamie in person once he pops out of my womb and into this world. I look forward to it. But, when that does occur, I will, in many ways, miss the intimate connection we had while he was still inside of me.

The moment he joins us out here marks the beginning of his journey towards his own independence, which inevitably will involve slowly but surely distancing himself from me. (And Deric too, of course).

I am sure I will be happy for him as he arrives at the various crucial milestones of his life. Yet at the same time, I guess I will be hit by a certain tinge of sadness and melancholy at each of these points, knowing what it will eventually mean: That he will detach his life from mine, and go forward on his own to pursue whatever God has in store for him in the future.

Technically, I am not a parent yet, since Jamie is still just a fetus in my womb. But already I am coming to a realisation that parenting is all about the gradual process of letting go.

Of nurturing, no doubt, but doing so in the knowledge that it is so someday the life that now is so dependent on me will graduate into becoming his own person, carving his own space in this vast and often cruel world.

It will definitely be a long, challenging process. But at the very least, if I never make anything else significant out of my life, I hope I will be able to leave behind me on this Earth children who will be able to continue the legacy of faith in an everlasting, dependable God; the defence of godly virtues; and a healthy love and respect for everything and everyone around them.

If I can achieve just that, perhaps when I arrive at my final breath, I will embrace it willingly, knowing that I have done all I was capable of doing in this life.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I am now 26 weeks into my pregnancy. 🙂