Since I was a small child, I have found writing to be my catharsis. It calms me down, helps me parse information, brings out my worries, shows me my fears, and dares me to hope. From pro and con lists to poems to written apologies, words have for years been my MO. My parents can attest to the fact that my best, most genuine apologies for childhood rebellions have been in the form of some Lisa Frank paper scribbled upon and slipped under a door, hours after the infraction. And it is also my parents I have to thank for my continual use of pro-con lists: which, by the way, have graduated to weighted lists since the addition of statistics to my repertoire. In choosing to communicate primarily by letters and blogs this summer, I am back to having words fly from my brain to paper.
Even so, there are words I have written that will never be read by another pair of eyes. These words never read fall under the category “things better left unsaid.” From laying my heart bare to a crush, to exclaiming at someone I dislike, to tattling on a person who has wronged me, these words have escaped to paper, but lay latent there. Catharsis does not always require publicity. Sometimes, to my blog readers, it might appear that way—sorry, I’m not sorry if you think I’m verbose—but truthfully, there are many words I write that I keep hidden.
Maybe you don’t need to know exactly how I feel when I see that person, or the mean words that fly across my eyes in anger, or the pitiful words that pour down my cheeks when I feel mistreated. I am not talking about a diary that I keep under my bed, locked with a silly thing that could be broken with a swift tug. I am talking about legitimate letters: dated, addressed—as in, Dear [insert Name here]—and signed—as in, [insert adjective/adverb here] Annaliese. I have quite a number, stuffed into various journals, hidden at the bottom of desk drawers, in sealed envelopes begging for a stamp and a postmark…but thankfully, I know better.
These letters are written in the heat of the moment, in the thick of emotion: when logic has left and in its place is only cyclonic fire. By no means are they halting, fragmented sentences. Instead, they are quite eloquent, intelligent, and haunting—for one reason or another. I hope they are not my best works, but from a literary standpoint, it is entirely possible.
These words could be beautiful, but they are not tempered with logic, grace, or love, and therefore are not suitable works which I should disclose. That crush could very well know—through other means—what I wrote in his letter, or he could very well never realize how much I thought of him. That person I felt like I hated? Well, after forty eight hours, her letter was a sign of just how cloudy my judgment had been. The wrong was soon righted, through other avenues than my vindictive, condemnatory letter. These letters, however fiery, over exaggerated, or mean, serve as weighty reminders of what lies beneath the grace and logic to which I cling.
These sentences bring forth within me a gratitude for discernment, self control, tact, and grace that have at times laid a heavy hand on mine, dousing those infernal passions.
Yes, indeed, zealous and telling as they are, these are best as letters never sent.