Drafts

They’re piling up in my computer, unread. I scroll through their titles and see them glowing back at me. Click open one of them, words unseen, close it back.

Memory card filled with feelings unspoken.

Then, this one. Part two of what I once wrote to you. It calls to me and I find myself unable to look away.

I read, smile, my heart filled with love. I can’t find myself to share it online, for those events are long gone, but I know you’ll read it one day. I’ll share it all with you.

Those drafts are part of a story that will find it’s reason one day. Part of me. Part of you. Part of everything we’ve ever been and always will be.

Things change. But, for us, they’ll never end.

 

Anger

Fist against your jaw, bones breaking underneath, fingers turning red from the blood spitting out of your veins, your body hits the floor and I stare at you. Bitch, slut, asshole, motherfucker. I make a move to hit again and stop myself. Even in my mind, I can’t hit you on the ground. Frantic, I open my eyes, scratching down the story I witnessed, filling in the blanks. My boiling blood leaves its taste on my tongue. I bit too hard.

I used to be ashamed of anger. More than sadness, its power scared me. I was afraid of the images running in my mind, afraid that I might one day give them a reality. Afraid of the consequences if it ever happened. What would happen to me ? What would happen to them ? What would I think of myself ? Bottling it up inside kept the carnage at bay but how long would I last ?

The path to health is tumultuous. On my way, I made a deal with my feelings. I let them be, let them out, but they must do no harm. Not to me. Not to others. It’s a deal I made with anger too.

I take a piece of paper and write. As many words, as many pages, as many days necessary. I write the ugly, the abhorrent, the terrifying, self-censor turned off. Anger barks loud and clear until I am found whimpering, cut open but clean of pus. Quietly, I anoint myself and dress in soothing gauze. The breath I take spells relief as my mind clears of the fog of wrath and vengeance.

I used to live in a world of misconceptions. I didn’t trust what I couldn’t understand. Feelings were unintelligible. Guilty of weakness, I put them behind bars and made myself their watchdog. It took me years to realize I was their prisoner instead.

My words became my freedom.

I chose health over shame. Anger, sadness, love and happiness over a life of fear and misery. Feelings and I both respect our part of the deal. I learned anger comes from a place of pain, and I had to get through it to reach the truth of my problems. I thought I would be repulsed by it but, instead, I found myself understanding it more as it opened up to me and I to it.

My words remain on the paper. I turn around and throw them away. I am safe. So are you.

I found peace.
It’s all I’ve ever asked for.

Screens

It’s been a problem for me ever since I left my parents house. Before, they were pretty strict about how much time I should spend in front of it, if I was allowed to use it at all.

I’ve never been so grateful they kept me away from screens during those years.

Things started to change when I began living on my own. Despite my new responsibilities, I spent countless hours in front of my computer, screen glowing in the dark, often the only light I kept on. It wasn’t something bad, I told myself. Everybody else was doing it anyway. Facebook, MSN turned Skype, Youtube, Tumblr, Fanfiction.net, I was connected with the whole world. But I was disconnected from myself.

Eight hours scrolling down, only getting up for pee breaks, did it for me. I knew something was deeply wrong. After a week or two of anguish, I deleted myself from the world wide web. I had to go cold-turkey or I wouldn’t leave at all.

On and off it started. Going back when I thought I was feeling better. Deleting after realizing I wasn’t. I wanted so much to connect with others and it was difficult to do so IRL. People gave me weird looks when I told them I wasn’t on Facebook. Some even told me I had to catch up with time, everybody was on social medias nowadays, did I think myself special ?

It took me a few years but I found a way to use the Internet in a healthier way. I started writing this blog, the first one where I am able to speak my truth, and I wanted to share it with others. This time, I knew I would be able to use social medias the right way.

It lasted only a year.

It was insidious at first. I barely realized what I was doing. I started spending more and more time on the Internet, despite having reduce my avenues from what it once was. It was too much for me. Facebook and Instagram were deactivated promptly, Youtube blocked from my web browser. This blog remains.

We live in a time of transition. New technologies are invading the market on a daily basis. Electronics, apps, websites, social medias, there is no limit to this industry and it’s going fast. We barely have time to adapt to something new that it’s being replaced by something newer, shinier and supposedly better.

I love technology. The Internet gave me lasting friendships, new ideas, new interests and passions, communities to share it all with. It’s an opportunity to create tangible connections with real people. But, on my way to adaptation, I forgot that technology is not smart. It’s just a tool and I became a slave to it.

I used to feel guilty about not being on the main social medias. How would I connect with the people close to me ? How would I know about their lives ? How would I show them I care if I couldn’t like what they posted ?

Today, I disconnected from those social medias without feeling bad about it. I didn’t tell anyone ahead of time. I just left. Doing so feels like I reclaimed the freedom I had when I lived with my parents. Freedom to create rather than consume. Freedom to be rather than pretend. I might come back to social medias one day. I might leave again. Either way, I don’t really care anymore. This place, my playground, is all I really need.

Change

The only thing I know is that I know nothing.

Words by Greek philosopher Socrate.

I learn new things everyday. About myself. About the world around me. That knowledge makes me feel more confident about my place in the world. A confidence that is usually short lived.

Everything is constantly changing.

I can’t say I am not scared of change. I learnt to welcome it, to make space for it in myself and in my relationships. But it still comes with its fair share of anxiety. No matter what I think or say or do, there is always the chance that it might change the next day or, more likely, in the next few years. And, these days, change appears soon after I utter the words « I want. » Almost to the point where I dread thinking them, since all those « wants » turn into « how ? » And I don’t know the answer to that question.

I know what I want but I don’t know how I want it.

I want a commited, loving relationship with my partner. How ? Commitment is more than just words exchanged verbally or on paper. But what is it for me ? How do I accomplish that ? How does love works for me ? How do I grow a relationship that feels healthy for me ? Communication, respect, trust, yes, but what happens beyond that ? How different is love from one person to another ? I don’t know. I’m learning.

I want to make a career with words. How ? Studying in litterature is as good a guess as I have to begin with. It’ll surely broaden my horizons rather than staying on the narrow path of « novelist » that has been suffocating me for years. And then what ? Where will I work ? What kind of job will I have ? Will I remain in the country ? Will I spend my time reading or writing ? Will I be able to do everything I want to do ? I don’t know. I’m learning.

Socrate said he knew only one thing. I believe he knew two. He also knew he wanted to find the truth, to the point where he invented a way that would enable him to find the weaknesses in other people’s arguments, the lies people told themselves and others, so truth would not escape him if he ever found it. He wanted the truth but he didn’t know what form that truth would take, nor how it would appear in front of him. The only truth he knew was that he knew nothing. He hoped to find more, despite the many failures on his way.

Samuel Beckett later put it another way :

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Change comes with failure. Not knowing what to do, where to go. Trying again anyway. I will surely fail a lot on my way to get what I want because I don’t know how I want it. Relationships. Writing. My future. I don’t know. I’ll learn. I’ll fail better. In the meantime, I know that I don’t know. That’s a good place to start.

Littérature

I’ve been putting it aside for a while now. Other activities demanded my time and I chose to say «no» to it so I could say «yes» to what also matters to me. And I missed it. So much so that I began to question my choices for the future. My love for foreign languages and other cultures is strong but stronger is my need and desire for the written words. Stronger is my need to read and write and share. Meetings with a school counsellor helped to shape the next steps on my path to fit my needs and desires better. The person I am today. The person I wish to be.

I’m not exactly sure who I wish to be, honestly. But I find there are some parts of me that, if denied for too long, scream and shout and I feel myself becoming hollow everytime I tell them «later».

I don’t know who I want to be but I know what’s important to me. Literature and writing are more important than learning new languages. I still have the goal to be fluent in at least 5 different languages before my life reaches its end. Maybe even 7. But learning those can wait. I still have time.

I want to write. I want to read. Poetry. Novels. Biographies. Fiction and non-fiction alike. Uni taught me this. It’s going to teach me more. I chose a bachelor in literature. Both French and English. I’m lucky to have access to such a program here, so I don’t have to choose between two languages that hold my heart in their own ways.

I know I don’t need a degree in literature to be a writer. But I do need one to be a literary director. A translator. Any other jobs that will not only bring food on my table and a roof over my head but that will also bring me joy doing it. Because that job will be so closely related to words, written by me or by others. Probably both. I am a writer because I write and I share my writings. But I’m open to be so much more.

I don’t know what I’ll be. I just know I’ll be happy.

 

Insecurities

It hits me once. Limbs blurred by the tension in my veins. I look at myself in the mirror and like what I see yet fail to imagine how you would too. Halfway there.

It hits me twice. Walking in a haze, feet cold in the morning dew. The past plays its broken record in my mind as I try to piece together everything I know only to find the end of a puzzle and the beginning of another. Unknown territory.

It hits me thrice. Eyes forced open and I won’t fight back. Moving figures in black and white, expecting me to act the way they want. I played my part accordingly and can’t unsee the wrong now that I know what’s right.

Self-awareness punches again. Breathless, I get back up and smile.

Bring me all you’ve got.
I’m ready for it.

 

Name

I spent timeless efforts in my life trying to find the perfect name under which I would share my art. For some reasons, mine wasn’t good enough. I didn’t like it. Too French. Too old. I choked on the dust covering its letters.

I wanted something new. International. I tried different pen names, but my words then became meaningless. No truth can be found under a lie.

Then, I found an online username. « LalettreM ». This one worked. It held enough of myself to find some vulnerability in it, yet remained a good shield against my fear of judgment. If people didn’t like my work (and got very wordy about it), it wouldn’t hurt as much. The username would be a wall between who I am and what I do. None would ever meet in a comment.

However, opening up on this website week after week made me realize how most of my fears are simply illusions, tricks my mind played on me to keep me safe, but safety isn’t about keeping myself from getting hurt, nor is it about going to war with those who would disagree with me. It’s about standing up for myself. Writing, sharing regardless of other’s opinion. The approval I give myself for every piece I create is worth more than a billion praises from others.

Resolute, I changed my usernames for my own. It is a beautiful name, worthy to be remembered. I learnt to love the way it sounds when it rolls off my tongue, the French Canadian heritage it carries. I appropriated it, just like I did my mind, my heart, and now my body.

My name is an anchor, solid ground beneath my feet. My roots grow deep in its soil, for my branches to reach upward towards the universe. It is the edge from which I take my leaps of faith, diving into the unknown. It is the safe haven where I rest in between adventures. It is my mother tongue, my ancestors. It once chose me, now I choose it. I was born with it. I will die with it.

I don’t own my name. I earned it. It will be mine to use for this lifetime.