by Shaina Dayon

She glared at her phone. Intensely.

Her brows furrowed into a knot, her eyes almost boring holes into the device. Her fingers poised over the mobile phone’s keyboard…

As soon as I typed that, I began smashing the backspace button. And now I’m typing this paragraph, fighting all my urges to just scrap every word and go about my night with another unfinished piece of prose.

I’ll let you in on a secret: these days, when I see colleagues and friends being successful with their written pieces, an immense wave of jealousy crashes over me. It is a predator pouncing at me once I stumble over the littlest of road bumps, its claws aiming for my throat. It is a bag put over my head, cutting off the very air I breathe. It is poison seeping in my veins and seizing at my heart.

It is my greatest enemy. And yet, I cannot deny it.

I cannot deny the monster as it crawls beneath my skin and overtakes my system, because it is better than feeling nothing. Ultimately, the wailing of the self I once was echoing in my head is better than the deafening silence of a writer who no longer knows how to use a pen.

I cannot, for the life of me, tell you why I have not written anything profound in the past three years. I wish I knew, because there is a certain prick to the heart of a passion now lost at sea. One step forward, three steps back—it’s been like that for me for a long while now.

And I hate it. I hate it so much. But what makes me angrier is that I don’t know what to do about it. Maybe I’m just not really that good enough of a writer. Maybe I never really knew how to write at all. Maybe, maybe I was just good at fooling myself that I could be good. Because how does someone suddenly unlearn something they enjoyed doing so much? How can someone’s fire just die like that?

Reading other people’s works, I realize as well that I am not as eloquent. I am not as intelligent. I am merely a person who loved writing but was never really great at it. And maybe this is merely a phase. I truly hope it is because I miss writing so much. I miss being able to translate my feelings into words only I could understand, so that others could see it differently. I miss meeting new characters that magically sprout from my now rusty little brain. I miss writing about the stories of real people and using the power of a pen to echo their sentiments.

But it’s never easy to force yourself into something you feel has turned you away for a little longer than you expected. It’s like not wanting to enter a room because you think the people in there wouldn’t want to see you.

It’s like losing a piece of yourself.

Thinking about it like that, it breaks me. I let the monster break me. I let the poison wash over me.

And that’s okay too. My only hope is that one day I’ll be brave enough to find that piece again.

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