The importance of self expression: Everyone can find an outlet

For some, it may be belting their heart out to original lyrics, for others it may be flourishing in many sports or drawing killer portraits. Whatever the outlet, personal self-expression is essential. Life can be a crazy rollercoaster of the unexpected and self-expression is where people turn as a way to calm down.

I found solace in writing. Out of all writing forms, I chose poetry as my biggest outlet. I used to enjoy writing essays throughout school, and helping others write theirs. What seemed as a strange enjoyment for a young student flourished and stayed with me. Throughout the years, I learned to explore other art forms which helped diversify both my writing and overall creativity.

I started writing poetry in middle school, where language arts and math were my favorite subjects. It was in my seventh grade classroom where my love for poetry blossomed into much more than a simple hobby. My language arts teacher took us through a poetry unit, where we wrote haikus, sonnets and free verse poems. At the end of the unit, we were assigned a final project – to create our own poetry book full of original poems. Little did I know that this unit would bring out a more creative side in me.

At the end of the unit, we turned in our poetry books and I received an A, but the grade was irrelevant to me, it was my newfound hobby that was exciting. From there on I would keep a notebook that I could write in whenever I had free time. It started out as a chore but quickly turned into something much more enjoyable.

Ever since then I have been attending and competing in poetry slams and writing every day. When I write a poem, it comes from a place of intense emotion. With that being said, a lot of my writing stems from my daily trials and tribulations as a young black woman, so a majority of the issues that I face that are of importance to me are expressed in my writing. I tend to give factual information in my poems, but I have learned to incorporate those facts in an artistic way.

For others, it is completely understandable that after a long day of work it is easy to just sit in front of the TV or behind a phone screen, but taking the time to feed one’s interests can and will be rewarding. Sometimes, emotions and daily frustrations from work and school can bottle up and hurt later. This is why it is important to have that outlet or hobby where these frustrations can be let out. It could be through music, working out or anything else. The sky is the limit when it comes to self-expression, each person chooses what they want to do.

The benefits of finding an outlet to express oneself are endless. For starters, an outlet can reduce the built up stress from the day. After a long day I just simply put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and type or write away. The words flow out of me.

With a new hobby can come new friends, too. Sometimes certain activities require people to interact with others. With spoken word poetry, I have met other amazing likeminded poets whom I have had the chance to collaborate and connect with. Building these relationships through a common interest allows people to connect in a positive light.

Finding something that is enjoyable can be a troubling process, but with perseverance and a positive attitude, anyone can conquer the journey of finding their passion, finding what makes their heart beat. From there on, the opportunities are immeasurable.