Learning the Hard Way


Introductions come so uneasy. It’s not that describing words are scarce. I believe, it has more to do with being a rookie and feeling a bit uncomfortable about it.

So, I resort to telling people how is it that I am a wordsmith: “I’m a passionate reader, but a reluctant writer.” It causes a brief impact, it makes the listeners wonder. And as soon as I tell them my case, they nod with satisfaction (*if my interpretations are right).

“I’m a passionate reader, but a reluctant writer.”

A brief history

I, like most penfolks, started with books, textbooks to be exact. Those textbooks that featured stories were my instant favorite. I could devour them in one day, perhaps, as soon as they hit my desk.

Every school year calls for a different set of books. Suffice it is to say, I have always had my fill of stories. When I reached my higher education, novels were the norm. Buying novel paperbacks, back then, wasn’t part of the household budget.

To augment this, I resort to borrowing. The stories I have read started to expand from the usual few pages. There were more spaces for words, for characters, for dilemmas, and for my imagination.

So, when did writing sank in? It started at school, as a form of conforming. They used to be the essays, the homework, the impossible research projects I’m obliged to create. They weren’t written for creative pursuits. Nor were they something I could proudly wave on other’s faces. Still, they were my earliest masterpieces.

There were more spaces for words, for characters, for dilemmas, and for my imagination.

Then poetry made me curious. So, I fashioned my own, with rhymes, with words. And then I decreed to hate my own work: I would either decide to hide them from prying hands, or throw them.

It was a crazy cycle of creation and destruction. A trend that started in my elementary years, it went to manifest in my secondary education, too. I would pen them passionately — the back of my notebooks profusely filled with these poems. In my excessive ink-affairs, I would also maintain a separate notebook of poems.

The savior

I was supposed to throw my high school poems, too. But my sibling chose to save them. It was the very first time that I have learned the value of my written works. Someone went to such extent of keeping them away from me (lest some evil spirit come and I would decree its destruction, again).

That was a long time ago. Now, I no longer throw them. It’s not that they have redeemed a new audience now, because a lot them still lay sleeping in my cabinet. Perhaps, it was just time to let them be.

My taste morphed and still morphs in an erratic way. Usually, my new view pushes me to discard the old. Perhaps, it’s why I was liked that — eager to throw away my moments or years of hard work.

I have learned the hard way, because I failed to really understand myself and my poems. But those hardships were not in vain. Otherwise, this piece may not wound to exist, I suppose.

*Just want to share my March entry @Medium.com

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