I have a new senior colleague. I like her a lot and if she wasn’t my boss I’d think that there was probably the potential for us to be friends. She’s a reader, too, and a writer. The more I’m getting to know her, the more I see that we’re facing the same struggles, the same difficulties of being a creative person juggling the demands of a full-time job and the daily interruptions of life, so that creativity simply falls off the radar.
Today I was brave enough to tell her about some of my plans for my creativity: a short story I’m working on, my plans to use my newly-granted extra day off per fortnight to concentrate on writing and creativity. Her response: “Good girl! Spreading your wings! Or maybe, growing them?”.
My new colleague knows a little bit about me and my ex. She knows a bit about the fact that I’ve got PTSD. I think she’s put two and two together to get four. I think she can probably guess what’s happened to me and the impact it’s had on my creativity and my confidence. And she’s absolutely right.
For the longest time, my wings have been clipped. Sheared back by violence and by the consequences of it: intimidation and fear and the internalised oppression which still, even now, sometimes keeps me from doing what I want to do and being what I want to be. I had no idea that it would take so long for my wings to grow back (or even if that’s a correct analogy when it comes to avian anatomy). I had no idea that, a year in, sometimes it would still be difficult, and frightening, to pick up a pen, to allow words to flow, to shape narrative. To commit my soul to paper.
I kind of assumed that I can’t spread my wings before they’ve grown back. But it turns out that I can. Not as much as I will be able to in the future; but a little bit. Enough to be brave. Enough to start to trust my weight to them. Enough to start to see what I will be able to do one day soon. Enough to start to take pride in them again.
Just a little bit.