Do the Write Thing (#WhyIWrite)

By Robine Jean-Pierre

It is 11:40 pm on a Saturday evening. I worked from 5:00 to 9:20 pm on the audio/video crew for the Haunted Hotel, City Tech’s annual Halloween-themed attraction. I worked the same shift yesterday. Working on in-house shows and events is required for my technical production class, and inevitably takes away more time from an already jam-packed schedule.

It has been yet another long week of juggling six classes (17 credits) and two part-time jobs. We are about halfway through the semester and I have had a handful of anxiety attacks and emotional breakdowns. I have missed assignments and (very few) classes. I have wanted to cut my hair, or even tear it out; break computers; fling chairs; scream, kick, stomp, and curse out everyone within close range. I have wanted to drop at least one class even though the deadlines are long past. I have been playing a never-ending game of catch-up, handing in the lab report that was due last week this week, pushing off what’s due tomorrow because of what’s due in two hours, only to find that when tomorrow comes there is no time left. I have sat at a desk in front of a computer for hours, with the earnest hope of getting it all done in one shot, and next thing you know, my time is up and I have nothing to show for it. Nothing. NOTHING.

I have an overdue lab report and the current one to complete by Monday morning, not to mention an elaborate assignment for my theatrical drafting class that involves a software called AutoCAD, which I do not own at home because none of the laptops would be able to handle it. I don’t think the computer labs are even open on Sundays. Then there’s this very blog post that I am writing, also due Monday. My draft was supposed to be in since Tuesday, going by the guidelines, although Thursday has been a reasonable compromise for me and my fellow peer-reviewing blogger. I’m sure she’s tired of me failing to reach even that agreement.

I am not trying to brag about my struggles as we often do, hoping for a pat on the back for our valiant efforts or some sympathy to liven up the pity-party. It’s just that everything I have written so far is all I have been able to think about for a long time. I am hardly able to think straight and I felt like I would have gotten nowhere if I had tried to write about some topic that, let’s face it, I don’t even care about right now. (Believe me, I tried. It didn’t work.)

Even as I write this out of obligation (blogging is my job and as I said, my posts go up on Monday), I feel guilty being up this late, 12:07 a.m., writing this sob-story instead of completing my lab reports, at least. But honestly, it doesn’t matter how I arrange all my responsibilities on my priority list–it all has to get done, whether I work on something first or second or last.

On a deeper level, I have to do this. Not just because I signed up to be a blogger, not because of the paycheck. I need to write. Writing helps me to take the emotions and thoughts running around like chickens with their heads cut off, as they say, and line them up for inspection. Writing allows me to drain my mind of all the excess content, whether benevolent or noxious, although I have found that I will more readily write about a negative experience than a positive one. I know how to deal with happiness pretty well; I feel no need to transcribe it, no need to analyze it–it’s self-explanatory, and simple, and beautiful. But when turbulence comes and I’m overwhelmed with sadness or anger or guilt, writing is like the chisel that allows me to carve the masterpiece out of a hulking, rough, ugly chunk of faceless stone.

I write because it gives me healing, relief, satisfaction, and a deeper understanding of myself and my circumstances. It gives me a space to express myself without alarming anyone. I am writing this for an online audience, sure (and chances are that few people will read it, like my last eight posts) but I am writing this primarily for myself. I am the author, and that makes gives me the authority to say whatever I want to say, whatever I need to say, without feeling embarrassed or intimidated or worried about what other people might think. If I were to scream in the middle of a classroom and start pulling my hair out, that would worry people, for sure–but I could choose a better option and let these letters be my voice, and this post a scream, and at the same time, a sigh of relief. Writing keeps me sane.


My Love For Baking

purple fireworks

Image by: Jdmoar

Now that school’s out, I am able to offer myself to pursue the other events in my life that I was once too busy to enjoy. Yesterday was the fourth of July and it is usually celebrated with the union of family by way of food, barbecues, and fireworks to commemorate those who have served in the armed forces. As I watched the colorful fire burst into the air, I was amazed by the beauty of it, something as simple as a firework made me smile and I realized that the beginning of this week was the most I have smiled in a long time. My life has been an utter worldwind this year and I am just happy to know that things are finally looking better. With more time on my hands, I thought back on my blogging experience with “The Buzz” for the past two years. I have endured so much though I have chosen to only post about food themed topics because it is the only constant that has brought joy to my life. It is the only thing in my life that truly calms me and for anyone who is currently going through a rough time, I hope that you find the peace that you are seeking.

The truth is that life comes with obstacles and can be difficult to bear at times. But I have learned that in order to make it through the tough moments is to lean on other people that will be there to listen or offer any type of support. So many people have truly showed their support for me in ways I have never imagined and I cannot thoroughly express how much that truly means to me or how much it encouraged me to know that things will be better eventually. To those who are currently facing struggles in life, I can confidently say that the dust will settle and that life although it is a tumultuous rollercoaster will be fulfilling to an exponential amount. Yet, life has constantly proven to throw curveballs and surprise me in both respectively positive and negative ways. Many question why I blog specifically about food rather than the struggles that occur in my life on the daily basis. And the truth is that I do not wish to dwell on the things in my life that I unfortunately have no power to change, instead I share how I cope with my struggles.

three pie tins and whisk

Image by: Angela Bax

Baking is my therapy, it allows me to be able to escape to a world of paradise where the most stressful thing is to crack the eggs, measure the sugar correctly, or sift the flour. Nothing compares to my passion for baking because unlike anything else in life, the result of baked goods can be controlled by simply following the recipe. It brings me joy to make others happy by way of the desserts I have carefully taken time to create.

So I hope to encourage all my readers to enjoy life and when life gets tough, know that there will be better times. Someone very close to me shared this quote with me and now I will share it with all of you.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne

Comment below on what you do as a hobby to calm yourself when life becomes difficult to handle.