A Writing Exercise

The other day I was supposed to wait somewhere for my Mom as she went to a funeral. She left me at a Red Ribbon branch after we had lunch there and she was supposed to be away for an hour. Now, normally this wouldn’t really be a problem. I was always equipped with things to keep me busy while I wait. Entertainment has become more portable nowadays and I had my Kindle and my iPod to keep my occupied usually. That day was one of those days when I completely forgot to bring my Kindle and I didn’t feel like sticking in my earphones to listen to music. For all of technologies advances, it still falls to people themselves to remind themselves, one way or another, of things that they should not leave the house without. If only my Kindle has a way of reminding me not to leave it whenever I step out. It doesn’t though, so I was left Kindle-less for that trip and I worried about what I would do for an hour left to myself.

While I was really worrying about that, I couldn’t help but feel kind of strange. Has my dependency on technology robbed me of finding enjoyment in the simple things? Possibly. I mean, my laptop is my constant companion. If I go on long trips, it comes with me. It has everything in it to keep me occupied for days on end, given that I don’t feel like socializing. Barring that and on shorter trips, I always had my Kindle and my iPod to keep me occupied. So what do I do when I don’t have my laptop or my Kindle and I didn’t feel like listening to music?

Thank goodness I had a new notebook in my bag and some pens. I had to fall back on the old traditional way of occupying myself: writing. So I did. I had no topic in mind, no actual direction. I just wrote and wrote and somehow it all just came together. It was just a stream of consciousness for the most part. I wrote about writing, starting from when I was just nine years old and had no idea what I was doing when I was actually writing Sailor Moon fanfiction. I wrote about getting my writing groove on while I was at school and losing it after starting work and getting swallowed by it. I wrote about my attempt at perfectionism that soon killed all will to write because it had just gotten so hard, like a chore. Then I wrote about writing again, about letting go of pretensions and just writing, about finding the joy in it again. I sat there hunched over my notebook and a pen, hardly pausing, as I took bites here and there of my chicken empanada.

It’s a small notebook and my handwriting is small and cramped and I didn’t care for following the lines. After Mama came back 30 minutes earlier than she should have, I was done writing–my little stream of consciousness actually had a point– and I filled up one and a half pages of my notebook. For me, it was an achievement, much like each blog entry I finish and publish online. Actually being able to write with pen and paper and finishing it was something that I hadn’t really done in a long time and it gave me a sense of nostalgia, of how it felt like to be young while you’re doing something you love with no reservations. It was a good feeling and I was glad I was able to revisit that moment, especially when I felt old and uncertain.

From that exercise, I guess I could say that I’m not a total lost case when it comes to being dependent on my gadgets. At the same time, I can also say that I can still manage the effort to physically write something out, which is a really big improvement given how I was just a few months ago, when I was lazy and didn’t even deign to try.

There’s hope for me yet.

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