Why People Stop

Philadelphia has come into the view of my Amtrak train, oddly yet thankfully reliable for this holiday season, for which I have no complaints. This year has been filled with so many different things that it’s hard to keep track, even if I were to try to write things out in a bullet point format, it would do it no justice.

Back in my Wyoming retreat I had one big fear which is that once I stopped feeling so much pain, I would start writing less. For a while it has been true, because I no longer felt the strong desire to pour my thoughts out onto a page, into the Internet void and into a place where I felt that no one was listening, but was still worth speaking into.

People stop for many reasons in writing but one of them is the thought that no one is listening, or that you don’t matter. Or perhaps they stop out of a mean remark or fear of being found out that they’ve shared too much. Whatever the reason though, it’s still evident to me that whenever I write, I feel good, and so, I should do it more.

I’ve been reading The Book of Five Rings lately. I feel like most serious martial artists read this so maybe it’s not anything unique, but for me, now slightly more mature after 365 days, I think it’s words are ringing more true before. For I feel like I can finally start to become a warrior instead of a victim, to become a lover instead of a hater, to become a learner instead of a thinker. So it is again that I’m reminded that the process of change is forever unceasing.

When it comes to writing there are many styles and each has their own time and place. I could and never will be a copywriter in any sense, because the stories that I want to tell are much too personal to sell. But I think that writing whatever comes up for me is magical, and something that would be a shame to lose, as the thoughts whir through my head they need a home to be somewhere.

We’re always so busy, rushing from one place to the next, that we don’t ever take the time to pause and think about what could have been if we had taken a moment longer. Living a life of intention helps me slow down and observe the world around me, and to give myself a reminder that it might not be as cold and cruel as I believe it to be. I am, after all, a perennial optimist.

People who do not write and people who do not speak live in a darker world than I’d like to be–I don’t mean the polite conversations that you need to get around in society but instead the deeper dialogues that you have with your friends or yourself in the dead of the night. I don’t mean the emails you write to get through the day but the times when you really sit down and let the thoughts pour through the page like the tears on your face earlier in the day or the smile that has crossed your face. There’s always something to be said with letting your emotions flow in a way that is not critical, not structured, and not well designed.

I often wonder what I would have written if I had written in my time of tumult between now and then, though I don’t feel the need to wonder all that much. For I am both the same and different from the time I was born, and I have already known the past and the future.


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