So... I've been on a hiatus.
It's not because school or work has taken over most of my time; in fact, my life feels more time-balanced and surprisingly, much calmer. I have the time to be writing--the time I have craved to work on my poetry and blog--but whenever I think about even stringing a couple words together, it doesn’t feel right.
It felt empty.
Don't get me wrong: I value poetry and art as a way for people to connect, share their experiences, and celebrate their differences. I see the therapeutic merit in writing down your thoughts in an expressive, creative form. I encourage everyone to write, whether that's poetry, reflective journaling, or building storylines.
While writing has certainly brought me peace of mind, helped me through some tough times, and allowed me to connect with people on a deeper level, it took me a while to realize that I have moved on from the image of the writer I thought I wanted to be. Poetry always saved me when I needed to be saved, but I reached a point where its significance in my life began to transform into something different.
...which is not to say that I have moved on from writing altogether. Binding a bunch of my poems into a book and selling it on the market isn't all I want anymore. That'd be nice, for me mostly, as something I could check off my bucket list and reminisce about when I'm old.
I would love to live forever in my little positivity bubble, preaching self-love and self-worth and spreading unicorn and rainbow happiness like a fairy princess. I hope I can still do that (to some extent), but the reality is that the world is not like that. Constantly, constantly, constantly, talking about love and hope and dreams also means creating a sense of detachment from all the shiitake mushrooms* that revolves around us constantly. I can't focus on the good and assume that the bad will somehow magically disappear, and whether or not these events/atrocities affect me directly does not and should not matter to me. I can't preach that the answer to people's problems is self-love when I haven't even acknowledged their problems in the first place.
Because we can curate our social media feeds with happy baby videos, cute animal pairings, funny memes, and positivity campaigns, we can easily become detached from the cruel reality that actually exists. We all need a break from the negativity--I get it, I really do--and these moments we stumble upon "restore our faith in humanity." (On that note, I also wanted to mention how the other day I stumbled upon self-love and body image campaigns becoming hijacked by people hungry for likes and shares and internet fame. A good way to sum that up is that meme from a few years ago that went something like: "She's beautiful." "Who?" "The girl reading this." Anyone remember?!) It's easy to prey on people's insecurities and jump on the bandwagons that seem to be picking up steam to instantly become What's Trending.
You know what's difficult though? Talking about the shiitake* that matters. So yeah, I'm still a proponent of self-love and poetry and sunshine, but I also want to use my words to break down hate speech and misogyny and racism. How am I going to write love poems without acknowledging that so many people hear they're not worthy of it, or that their love is wrong or illegal? How am I going to preach about self-worth and image without acknowledging cultural appropriation, that people invalidate the worth of entire cultures who get profiled or scapegoated? How I going to preach about empowerment without recognizing the effects of internalized gender norms or rape and sexual assault?
How can I not talk about these issues when they happen
e v e r y d a y ?
So... I'm going to talk about them. If you don't like The New and Improved alicesunby, then -thank u, next- for supporting me this far. It's just that now, to put it frankly, I don't really need anyone's support (though I do appreciate it!) because I've already learned to love and support myself. There's just a lot of people who need mine.
Any topics you’d like to hear about? Let me know!