Writing is Cathartic/Let Go of the Past


I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.  I am slowly learning never to question when something doesn’t go my own way or when something needs to change.  Within the last few days I am listening to what’s going on around me.  I have come out of the dark and into the light.   I am also a firm believer that the cup is always have full and never half empty.  Sometimes I look at it as being full and the possibilities are endless.  

One of the reasons I write is because it is a cathartic exercise.  I have a tendency to use things in my life.  I don’t do that deliberately, but if I need to strengthen a story it has always served me well to find something from my past.  This is where I believe acting and writing are two similar disciplines.  Actors often use things in their lives to reach an emotional moment or to achieve that emotional moment on stage to make it real.  Writers do the same for different reasons.

For many years I’ve been holding onto something.  Like a hoarder I always felt I needed this part of my past.  I wasn’t sure why, but it was hard to let this go.  Sometimes I stuffed it away and never looked at it.  Then it would magically pop out of the box and I wanted to be near it again, because the memories from it were strong.  One day I realized I should let this thing go.  From an emotional level, I didn’t.  I kept it in a box and didn’t look at it for seventeen years.  I never wanted to, examine why it was there because this part of my past was too painful.  

The last few years have been a slow journey to examine my past.    I needed to look at it, because I needed to explore the past and understand why it was not important to me anymore.  This part of my life was holding me back.  It was stuck to me like glue and I could not find a way of becoming unstuck.  

As I said writing can be cathartic.  I held onto a piece of my writing very much like part of my past.  The message from this work was powerful.  For years I had chopped and changed this show to find out where it was going.  As this writing evolved I began to recognize what this was.  I had no idea why two characters seemed so familiar to me.  They certainly weren’t anyone I knew.  However the story was very recognizable.  The first half of it was true.  The second half was what I had hoped it might have become.  It didn’t turn out the way my play ended.  The message suddenly became clear.  Everything happens for a reason.  Why this play at this time?  Why the need to work on this again?  I was not done with this yet.  I reached out to this part of my life.  That part of my life did not respond, but I found I was okay with that.  I needed to learn a lesson and I needed to start a new chapter in my life, which had been evolving slowly for some time.  I liked the pace of this new chapter.  It wasn’t moving at the speed of light.  This new chapter has been gentle.  I have nurtured it and let it grow.  Now this chapter has come to a new stage.  I am not forcing myself to look at the ending, I just want to enjoy the possibilities and where this chapter could lead.  Everything happens for a reason and this new chapter  I’ve started is leading me somewhere.  I am unaware of it’s travelogue.  At this moment in my life, that’s okay, what will be will be.  

Not all my writing is cathartic.  Not all of it is taken from my past.  Not every character is based on people I know, or did know, but this piece was and I came back to it, to let that part of my past go.    

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