Thursday, January 7, 2010

Perfect outlet

This is what I recently discovered about myself: I want all things reduced into writing.

During grade school, I always get awed by the excessive sentimentality of some poems I've read in the library. As a kid trying to express her feelings out, I tried writing poems at the back of my notebooks. Sometimes, I'd draw flowers and hearts to vivify the prose. But at the end of the school year, off they went to trash cans. I usually told myself that those can be easily replicated.

In high school, I joined the school paper as the features editor. I somehow felt that my thoughts indeed count, and my creative ideas impressed my Journalism teacher. He handpicked me, by the way. No one could ever dampen my spirit everytime I bring home a copy of the school gazette and show the same to my parents. I even dreamt of becoming a journalist. Never mind the fact that I could barely finish my "sulating pormal" in our Filipino subjects. My CAT tickler sometimes played the role of a literary journal. And as a lovesick teenager, I wrote poems and, beat this, love letters! I had to  express the lovely emotions of my then fragile heart. Otherwise, I'd be like a constipated teenager denied of her regular toilet habits. Our former househelp even appointed me as her personal ghost writer in terms of sending love notes to her palangga (translation: loved one). To my mind that time, I may not have the most perfect grammar and literary inclinations but I have the overwhelming passion and the heart to express myself in any form of writing I can. Somehow, my English teacher noticed that, and I was hailed the Literary Awardee of our batch.

In college, some things changed. I took the editorial exam for the college newspaper (The Sentinel), and I was one of the two non-Journalism students who passed. My fellow non-Journalism editorial staffer is now a lawyer, by the way. However, I felt I was not welcome to the cult of aspiring journalists, maybe because my course (Foreign Service) was different from theirs. Just because I'm no Journalism major doesn't mean I'm a stranger to their so-called exclusive domain. I left the school paper after a year, and a void was left in my heart. Hence, I wrote to please myself and express myself as well. I kept journals all through my college life. They were silent witnesses to my daily struggles; they became my sounding boards of my childish yearnings, imagined cases of unrequited love and more. If I were to read them again, the journals will surely receive a bunch of chuckles and sheepish grins from me.

Law school came along quite unexpectedly, but I know very well it involves writing. It started from a heartfelt conversation with my parents, a cornucopia of good parental intentions for the eldest child which boils down to one thing - they want me to become a lawyer. I could not complain anymore; law school is half-writing and half-reading, mixed with logic and good grasp of the language. And as the ever dutiful daughter, I obliged. I had to reinvent my writing style all of a sudden. I had to stick to the basics, and most significantly, I had to forego my poetic style. I joined the College of Law's official organ "The Law Forum" as a writer. I was proud when professors acknowledged the paper's editorial staff in between nerve-wracking Socratic sessions. There are times that I enjoyed the writing part of law school, but most of the time it's reading which thrilled me. I even wondered how my "idol" (this was and still is the term) Miriam Santiago, a fiery lawyer and the femme fatale of the Philippine Senate, surpassed the straightforward legal writing when in fact law school frowns upon her trademark colorful language. Note to self: It's fate, darling. 

It's more than a year after law school. I could not believe that blogging occupies my time these days. This is far more better than handwriting into a journal. I could erase letters or words without traces of mess afterwards, and I can even pause for a few seconds while composing thoughts without worry of having ink blots. Perfect outlet. 

So as far as my recent discovery is concerned, it comes with a twist. You can publish it without printing costs.

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