“He’s a real nowhere man, Sitting in his Nowhere Land, Making all his nowhere plans for nobody. Doesn’t have a point of view, Knows not where he’s going to, Isn’t he a bit like you and me?” ― The Beatles, Revolver, Vocal Score
I have nothing to say. Maybe I should just post that one sentence and be done with it? Would that be okay? Arg, no words. They’re gone. Well, not gone but in hibernation. I’m trying to wake them up, but they’re throwing a temper tantrum. “I don’t wanna!” Yeah, it’s bouncing around in my head, and I think it’s coming from the part of my brain that houses my vocabulary.
Apparently my vocabulary and inner child are roommates. Those brats!
The harder I try to string these sentences together the thicker my brain gets. Like I’m trying to walk through marshlands after a heavy rainfall. Slip and slide but I can’t quite get my footing. It soaks through my boots and socks. Now my toes are cold…What am I saying?
I’m sitting in the middle of this nowhere land and I’m trying to get out of it. Pushing. Pulling. Struggle a little harder. It’s not working. I’m just going to sit here and stare out at the approaching storm clouds until it passes. Will it pass? Will I ever get out of this nowhere land? I sure do hope so.
Maybe I’m tapped out? The last post took a lot out of me, and it brought up a lot of emotions that I didn’t expect. Just when you think you’re out, am I right? Wow, I’m still kinda feeling it.
Then again, there’s a chance that these last few months have finally caught up to me and I’m just tired. Tired of overthinking. Tired of being afraid, angry, sad, and lonely. Tired of the confusion. Tired of the news that seems to get bleaker and more contrary. Tired of worrying about everything and everyone.
Anyone else feeling like this? Tired. Tapped out. A wet rag rung dry. Feeling all the feels until there’s nothing left to feel. I want to give more, write more, create more content but the supply line has run dry.
I’ve seen a few people talk about this feeling with more poetic grace than I can muster. Creatives reaching the limit of their creativity. They desperately claw at the side of an empty ditch looking for more but find nothing. Is there any feeling more desperate than that? Okay, yes, I can think of a few, but for argument’s sake? Imagine a painter that runs out of brush strokes or a writer that runs out of words. It’s like a fish running out of water. It’s a panic that comes with a muzzle and a silencer.
If you’re not a creative, and that’s quite okay, then maybe this sounds a bit dramatic. What can I say? We’re a dramatic breed. Or is that just a stereotype? Either way, I know a few people who can’t understand how, or why, these dry spells send a creative into a tailspin. It seems like an overreaction, right? Maybe it is but losing our creative outlets are more than words on a page or paint on a canvas.
These are our voices, our forms of expression, and losing that means we’re losing our one connection to the people around us. Have you ever lost your voice? Then you know how hard it can be to feel included or get your needs met. For me, speaking to someone face to face or even on the phone is very difficult. I struggle to articulate my thoughts, feelings, experiences. My mind goes blank and I go quiet. My voice, my spoken words, it isn’t strong and often it’s silenced by stronger, well-meaning, voices.
I’m too quiet, too shy, and I understand that I’m hard to hear. I don’t blame the stronger voices, and I don’t hate them either, because they can speak and I can’t. Why blame someone else for my shortcomings? That’s just silly. And I know we all have a voice but some of us just can’t use it or, when we do, we aren’t heard. When we aren’t heard? Then often we aren’t seen.
When I write I feel heard and seen. I can express the thoughts, emotions, that I usually hideaway. This is my voice. The words I type, the thoughts they form, they’re who I am and I can finally share that with other people. I can connect with other people. That’s not something I can do with my spoken voice.
With my spoken voice, I feel like the “nowhere man, sitting in a nowhere land.” Sitting on a stump out there in this barren wasteland. For miles around me, the ground is bare. On the horizon, the sky is grey and it grows darker. The wind, the words of those stronger voices, whips up around me and I shiver. I want to move, to speak, but I just sit there on my stump making nowhere plans.
When I write, the grey sky turns a luminous mix of red, orange, and golden yellow. The wind dies down, and I can finally stand up on my own. The words I type create their own wind and for once my voice is carried far and wide. My voice becomes strong. I become visible. I’m no longer a nowhere person.
It’s a hard thing to lose when you’ve only just found it. Then again, I’ve written this much so maybe I didn’t lose it. I just needed to give it a chance to find its footing on unbroken soil. I’m walking new ground here. I’m still finding my voice, and I’m still learning to trust it. I’m so used to being quiet, invisible, stuck in the nowhere land. Out here, with you, is a new experience and it can be scary at times.
New things are always scary and speaking up is even scarier. Especially when you’re so used to be quiet. So when I sat down to write and the words didn’t come? I felt this panic rise. What if I can’t find the words? What if I’ve run out of things to say? I don’t want to go back to the nowhere land. I like it here, with you, and I’m not ready to leave.
There I go! Being all dramatic again. Maybe it really is more than a cliche?
Still, the dramatics highlight a need I have and maybe you have it too. A need for community, connection, and a way to belong. All of which require a voice and this is mine. You have yours, I’m sure. Losing that? The threat of losing that? The mere possibility of losing our voices?
That’s terrifying to me, but it turns out that being honest about how I’m feeling frees up my voice. Keeping it in? Fighting my feelings? I’m the one silencing myself. I’m the one holding my voice in. I have the power to free or enslave my voice. By being open, being weird and bizarre, I freed my voice and I found the words.
Once the words started coming I felt myself breathe in and let out a sigh of relief because I’m not sitting in that nowhere land anymore. I’m not a nowhere person anymore. I’m finding my voice, and I’m learning to use it. That gives me strength, hope, and a reason to keep going when I’m tired.
Today I’m tired but I kept going and that makes this, a good day. Even if I didn’t write more than that one sentence. Even if I didn’t post these ramblings. Even if no one ever reads this, it’s okay. I know that I kept trying, and I found my voice.
Yeah, I know that…
finding a voice…
not being sure if you have one…
rediscovering it in the most unexpected places…
Your voice… it’s kinda like the sunset, where other voices come to sit and watch the colours, to find out what being a voice is really all about.
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There is this issue of identity, what label to paste on oneself, and thereafter remain attached to. To be a writer, is that what I wanted to be? I cook, but I’m not a cook. I dream, but I’m not a dreamer. I drink, but I’m not a drunk. When I write, many internal switches turn on, I lose my appetite and my head and eyes bother, I become constipated and slightly nauseous. And all those thoughts, they just well up, and hurt my brain, like it was pregnant.
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