My words were hiding from me. Oops.
Writing is one of the most important aspects of my life. Yet, my words hid from me. As a poet, where does that leave me?
A loss for words: I’ve been a poet for a long period of time. Sitting on the train, alone in my room, in the space of love. These various words tend to float around my head until I write them on a page, such vivid colors, shapes, and sizes they all are. Anger, words, honesty, and frustration tend to come up most often. So eager to be included in writing as they come from the inside looking for understanding. Recently, however, they've locked themselves in my chest, refusing to come out. All these words I surround myself with shaking their head when I ask them where they went. Oh please come out, I have experiences to cope with, I plead Silence on their end. I’m borrowing words from previous works It just doesn’t work the same. Write, write, write, write. I just want to write. And yet I can’t seem to as these little annoying words don’t want to come out anymore.
V A L U E: Where could this have started? I couldn’t have possibly woken up one day, and words just decided to revolt. They are doing this for a reason, I just can’t put my finger on why. So I ponder, and ponder, and ponder, and ponder until my grammar becomes weak, and my head begins to lose its value. I sit, take a breath, look around and see the words still inside. Honesty begins scratching at the lock. Importance sits in a corner refusing to look at me. Importance sits in a corner! That is it! These words have been told over and over again they hold no value. Needing to be used countless times to hopefully be taken seriously. I repeat them and repeat them and nothing seems to change. Why write if my words hold no significance?
Writing: It is supposed to come easy to me. And yet it doesn't anymore. I repeat and repeat and nothing changes. I repeat and repeat and nothing changes. These words are tired and hopeless. What am I supposed to do?
Understanding: I write for myself. Words help me put together the experiences I go through. Why do I focus, on others hearing me. When I don’t even know if I am hearing myself? I write for myself. I state it again to reemphasize that my words are just that. Mine. No one can take that from me. I'm sorry to my words for making them feel like they exist for others. … The lock on the cage comes undone, Importance floats to the front. I smile, they smile back.
I spent so long trying to write for the Anthology submission and every single poem was going wrong. The two weeks leading up to the submission deadline, I felt like I just couldn’t write. I backspaced countless times and one of my drafts was even about a crowded bus! Which is something very new to me as I typically write about my life experiences and how I feel about them. After countless times of trying to write this piece, I really started to question why I was struggling so hard. I realized that through so many experiences, I had begun to listen to the people around me who didn’t take me seriously. I felt hopeless and that my words held no significance. Through writing this collection of poems, I was able to affirm the significance of my words. I learned and became more confident in my writing as I wrote every word down.
Shayla Astudillo was born in New York City; at a year old they moved to Illinois. In Illinois, they found their love for the arts and multiple life lessons. Coming back to New York City was difficult, but they adapted. They are currently attending high school in Manhattan, NY with their friends. They have dealt with mental illness in their life, which is a strong factor in their writing. They continue their journey with optimism. Their life goal is to spread love to everyone they meet. They hope you can connect to their writing and find your safe place to call home.