It’s taken me a long time to find my way home.
Though physically residing in my childhood town – the place where it all began, you could say – I have been mentally and spiritually unmoored since my ceremonious exit from OU.
Blame it on the burnout, or my deflated ‘smart‘ persona, or even my newfound commitment to another person. So many changes have crested and fallen like waves in my life, I can sometimes scarcely recall what my life was like before May 5, 2018, or September 27, 2018, or even March 23, 2020.
One of the last pieces I wrote on my blog was about how “it’s so much more rewarding for me to live in this world instead of merely writing about it.” For too long, I defined myself by the worth of my words, pursuing two professions, in fact, that picked apart every literary phrase or analogy I sewed into my sentences. The art of writing was stolen from me, and I lost the enjoyment of trying to win it back.
Plus, it wasn’t just me anymore. The nights I once had in ample amount to craft up some new poetry book, or blog post, or essay evaporated as soon as I signed a joint-lease. And once I got my PCOS under control, I no longer remained in a turbulent state of unbalanced hormones – which meant I wasn’t as moody, or drawn-inwards, and therefore had less to write-out in self-prescribed therapy.
I knew something was still missing from my life – even after I began a fulfilling graduate program, a new job, and have maintained a healthy relationship. I spent months investing in myself, regaining my peace and re-tuning my intuition, trying so desperately to fit the remaining pieces of the puzzle back into the frame after I dropped them all on the floor three years ago.
Like the adage “you’ll always find your way back home,” my words have a way of making their way back to me, even when I least expect it. This quote from my blog “Remember who you are” found me on a cold February night.
In a world where everything is changing — ecologically and personally — I realize now the importance of maintaining a few core tenets of your inner-most self. The importance of remembering who you are — changes or no changes. Change is a natural part of our evolution — but we don’t have to let change take away everything that is our identity. I believe now that there are some things that will never change, even if we think they have.
For as much as I have tried to disentangle my identity from my written work, I am incomplete in my whole self without it.
My words, my thoughts, my sentences, my emotions, are as integral to my well-being as my breath. When I severed that lifeline by letting others, effectively, speak for me in my words, I lost a part of the person I became in the third grade.
Rather than distancing myself from this gift, this year, I am embracing that connection.
I am embarking on a new/revived project called “BNB says” on Instagram, which will feature quotes from my blogs and poems from new and previous books. I wanted a more ‘public’ way of connecting with others over shared words, and I think this additional account will give me the ‘best of both worlds.’
I’m also going to create video-versions of my poems on YouTube, which will feature read-aloud versions with me narrating my own poems (what a combination!) and captions on-screen. The “BNB says” newsletter is also coming back, albeit as a monthly version. It will feature blog posts or poems (if I have any to share), little life updates, and a section called ‘things I’ve been loving.’ Join here, if you feel so inclined.
For as much as I love becoming a city planner, I will always be a storyteller. This year, I affirm that truth.