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When I started writing for public consumption over 10 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I only know slightly better now.

I just wrote. 

I wrote what I thought, what I felt, safe in my anonymity behind the screen. And then I got braver. 

And then some things happened and I got less brave, and less brave, until I wasn’t writing anything anymore.

So I started again. And I tried to bridle it. I tried to hold back the poet, the activist, the artist inside me until I could feel my own desperation eating me alive from the inside out.

And then something changed. I turned toward those parts of myself that I had restricted. I loosened their chains of conformity, politeness, and fear. I beckoned them to step into the light.

They looked at me with hopeful, yet untrusting eyes. “How do we know you won’t chain us up again?” they asked.

“Because I’m not the same woman who locked you up.” I said.

“I won’t be scared of you, if you won’t be scared of me.” I told them.

And we agreed.