It was a Saturday like any other, I was nine and had time to spare. I decided to pull out one of the fresh registers my brother owned. I sat on my side of our blue and pink desk, pulled out a pencil as I still didn’t have the privilege to write with a pen, and began to write.

This was the first time I wrote for fun. I filled three pages of the large notebook with my block handwriting, trying to express all my thoughts in a coherent manner or at least as much as a nine year old’s writing could be.

Once I was done, I ran over to mom to show her what I’d written. I still remember her look of surprise and delight as she read over my writing as never before had I shown an interest in reading or writing for pleasure.

I’m sure you’re wondering what I wrote about, well as a true Gen-Z, I wrote about how we need to be more environmentally conscious and the steps to do the same. I remember writing this as this was the only way I knew how to voice my concern and the only steps I knew to take to help.

Well I still want to help, I use paper straws, recycle, walk or use public transport, carry reusable bags, eat plant based, and yet the world temperature is set to rise by 1.5 C. All my lifestyle changes aren’t going to help if we let big corporations get away with oil spills in the ocean. But I digress.

Once I turned a pre-teen, a family friend suggested journaling to express my big feelings which are common with our changing bodies. I tried that, the catharsis provided by writing was wonderful so I continued to write.

As the years went by I enjoyed going back to read my previous irritants and laughing at them that I began to journal more, especially special moments I didn’t want to forget.

It’s still a joy to not only read things that previously made for instance fifteen year old me happy but also to see my personal growth, the change of mindset, and letting go of negative thoughts instead of going down the Arthur Fleck route…

After a few years of journaling I began to blog mainly because it was 2018 and cool to blog. In the past four years, I’ve published approximately ten blogs but written over sixty.

My favorite thing about writing is that one can write, come back: rephrase, edit, and elaborate and then repeat the cycle until we’re sure we’re able to express what we wanted to.

Unlike speaking where once the words are out they exist in the outside world, writing unless shown feels to exist in a middle world which is neither my heart nor the outside world.

This opportunity to read and re-read my written words is also my downfall. I’ll write a few pages, come back and change it; I always find a thought incomplete, unclear, or poorly written.

For instance, the blog, I wrote on squashing the existential dread I took a year to publish, yet every time I reread it I want to edit it.

The ability that writing gives to find the perfect words can often be limiting. As perfection is so subjective, I think we crave perfection in understanding instead of perfection in words.

It’s a human need to be understood, and our writing makes us vulnerable and blogging is baring your soul to strangers.

By striving to find the perfect words we’re hoping to accurately express ourselves, our heart, or at least I am.

But after the 8,000 edits and consulting my friends before putting this out, I feel great about this one.

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Shivani Kohli

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