Writer's Block: terrorism, politics and humanity.
Do you ever have that feeling when you have lots to say but aren't sure how to channel it? Or you go to write and you feel paralysed with fear?
I was a mix of both last week. I had a serious case of writer's block.
See, a lot has been happening. Both around me and in my life.
The London attacks happened. The first near my place of work. The second near my home, and my go-to for date night.
It feels like the vibe around everything has changed. The Grenfell Tower incident happened most recently and has caused serious shifts in this mad city.
But I've still been in and out and have accumulated some questions:
Like how is it suddenly ok that Snapchat has an actual story dedicated to the London Bridge attack!?
Since when did I become scared of my own expression!?
Abstract and poles apart, but two questions that have been on my mind for the last couple of weeks because, somehow, the world does not feel the same as it was a week ago, two weeks ago, a month, whatever.
The night of the second London attack, I was coming home from a course weekend and it was the most surreal thing to be so happy after a long day and read there had been another attack. And just up the road from me.
I felt weary ticking the box that I was safe on Facebook and messaging my family that I was ok again (it's about the fourth time I have ever had to do this) and then a call waking me up at 1am from a distressed friend from out of town. It was such a surreal parallel situation to be in.
Social media, which in my opinion had been getting a little too superficial for my liking, suddenly took it up a notch.
From the time of the Manchester attack to the General Election, I began to, on one hand, fall back in love with social media but on the other, be completely shocked by it.
Since when was it ok to dedicate a Snapchat Story thread to these incidents!? Kids use these apps. Terrorism is not a trivial vlog.
Since when did we decide to take it upon ourselves to be personal journalists and physically record this stuff!?
I went to the London Bridge memorial the Thursday after the attack to meet a friend.
Me: "How about London Bridge Grind? Although I feel a bit weird going there after Saturday."
Friend: "Best reason to go there"
I was nervous. And the little voice in my head was screaming "NO!" But I hopped on the tube anyway. On the other side, I took a deep breath.
Now let me tell you, I've been blogging for four years. I take photos of EVERYTHING. But I could absolutely not bring myself to take photos of London Bridge memorial. It was too vivid and too personal. It felt disrespectful and I was actually kind of shocked that people were taking photos and then not taking the time to be with the space and give wishes.
Within two minutes of standing next to the flowers and gifts, I was in tears. The photos. The skateboard with messages for the Spanish guy. The signs to stay strong. It was deeply moving. All I felt was overwhelming emotion. I'm not even sure which one. And so I was so astounded that anyone could just snap a picture and keep walking.
My friend was right - I hope he doesn't read this, ha! I was reminded that the strongest thing to do was to be brave, have courage and move forward. Collectively and individually.
I believe in my goals and myself as much as I believe in others. I trust myself and I trust others.
It's interesting how you need a little dramatic nudge to get you going again. Like you become a little too complacent and the universe pokes you hard to wake you up again.
How do you deal with writer's block?