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  • Alexandra Hillenbrand

voice

Writing is very personal, which is why I feel like this blog has evolved so much over the past 3 months. In the beginning, I very seriously believed this had to be a platform solely for humor writing. I felt that if I weren't in a funny mood, then I shouldn't write and that my lack of comedy was something I had to apologize for. I believed that humorous content was the only way I could be engaging to an audience. So, I tried very hard to make every joke land, every story dramatic, and every sentence witty. Sometimes, they probably didn't. I never really felt comfortable with that style of writing and I recently figured out why. Life isn't explicitly funny to me. I am equally as serious as I am foolish.

I think this is the niche of my personality - the balance between thoughtful and chaotic. Where I find comedy in my experiences, I also tend to find life lessons, earnest takeaways, and inevitably, solemnity. I always confused myself in that regard - wondering why one second I could be rib-split laughing at my own joke and the next in tears over the littlest thing. Just pick one! I could never figure out which version of myself was the correct one or which one was more interesting for other people to see. I never considered that maybe I was both, or that I didn't need to perform for everyone else. So, I tried on both for size to see which would stick.

If I was too self-deprecating and silly, then I was suddenly idiotic and brainless. Crazy. Annoying. Dumb. A people-pleaser that got on everyone's nerves. If I was too deep and emotional, then I was excessive and hard to be around. Awkward. Boring. She's no fun, we don't want her around. I felt the judgment of both of these sides of myself come through in equally harmful ways. At times, this has made me simply become mute and meek. Quietness is a form of self-preservation. No one wants to be around the person who has nothing of substance to say in the same way that they don't want to be around the person who can't stop living in the blues of life. It got exhausting.

I have allowed myself to be alone recently and it has been my greatest asset. I have been able to write myself through feelings of sadness, isolation, anger, anxiousness. Through this, I have grown more than I've ever seen myself grow in my entire life. I have been able to let go of wallowing and self-loathing and trade it in for lightness and maturity. For self-understanding and grace.

I've published 48 posts so far, I have 15 drafts and a notebook full of ideas. Some posts have been beautiful, some have been mediocre, some have been entirely cringeworthy. I'm proud of all of them. This platform has given me the space to understand who I am. I get to write what I feel, process what I've experienced, and release a lot of the heaviness that has rested inside of me forever. It is my peace. I have learned that I can meld the fun and the seriousness together. That I'm not a show everyone's watching to keep themselves entertained. I am just a person. The relief of that is astronomical. The need to perform is over, I have finally found my voice.

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