Rekindling Old Spark
“I used to love it.”
My voice was unmistakably wistful, and it was only after I admitted it out loud that the feeling of longing intensified. I flipped through the book in my hands – a beautiful thing authored by a friend I made in Harvard – trying to imagine if I would have had published my own writings at this point as my friend did, if I had not lost the joy in putting my thoughts into paper sometime in my undergraduate years, half a decade ago.
At his kind, questioning gaze, I explained myself. “I used to write a lot in middle school and high school, but when I started university, I started to associate writing with academic work. A responsibility, rather than a hobby. So I stopped.”
What I didn’t tell him was the fact that writing had been a form of therapy for me, and I had not felt the need to express my angst with words since I left home in 2017. Leaving had felt like the breath of fresh air that I had not realized I needed until I took my first exhale.
Returning the book to my friend’s awaiting hands, I told him this: “I’m starting to rediscover the joy in it again, now that I don’t write essays for my classes anymore.”
In truth, what I had meant was this: I’m starting to need to write again, because I can sense the new, dark clouds forming above my head in this foreign place, and I am once again in terrible need of a release.
So I snuck out of class, sat in my favorite library in Harvard, and saw my fingers dance to the lament of my heart.