Behind the doors of a small cupboard at the centre of my room, lies a part of me that has now been relegated to the corner, gathering dust as I grow into a newer person. This newer person that I am is not that much different than how i was before, except where before i vented most of my thoughts and feelings on paper, now i do through music (or the computer keyboard, in another form).
The interest in drawing and in writing was one that i held dearly and embraced as a part of me since my school days. Poetry and just jutting my thoughts down started as far as elementary school while drawing started mainly at the end of high school, but reached its peak circa 2012-2014, as i graduated college and started my first job.
And now four years into that job, the practices are fading away.
One night during a call with Tini, she was showing me some of her old sketchbooks of drawings that she made in her formative years. A lot of her drawings are deep, whimsical and happy, yet dark (which is fascinating, because she isnt really a dark person). Most of her drawings reminded me of her sister’s work, but i know that the darkness that was present in the way she drew was far removed from anything else besides herself. It was nice to see the progress on how she developed through the years into the visceral artist she is today.
Then she asked me if i had any old sketchbooks or notebooks that held my old handwritten material. I told her i did, so i belted to the cupboard to get one of my sketchbooks: the one that i doodled most of my significant drawings of my lifetime, back when i was just finishing college. But as i opened my cupboard, i was met with a big stack of notebooks that i have used in the past to jot down my ideas and pieces of my heart. The realization came. That part of me, the one that expressed through drawings and through writing, is now a relic of the past, shoved to the side, hidden and was probably never going to be touched again if nobody were to ask.
As I skimmed through the old drawings for her to see, my mind processed a parade of emotions simultaneously. I was happy to recall the moments and the meanings of each drawing i did with my partner as i turned the decayed pages, as if we were holding hands down memory lane, with her as the tourist and me as the guide. But at the same time, a severe jolt of wonder belted through my body.
“What happened to me?” “Where did all this visual creativity go?” I once flowed carelessly through visuals and managed to create them out of the absurdest of ideas. I was once in touch with such ideas enough to give them new life in a way i never considered before.
The peak of these all occurred when i was 19 to 21 years old. Now at 26, drawing and poetry seem so distant of crafts. And frankly, looking back in the five years in between, that energy to write or to draw grows more insignificant with each age i step into.
“Nothing peaks before you die,” Tini said. “Maybe you’re just subconsciously focusing all your creative energy on your music right now. Back then you had a lot of outlets, and you didn’t choose one that you wanted to pursue seriously yet. Now you have”.
“Maybe there will come a time when your [personal] creative energy will once again flow to drawing or writing. Things change lah,” Tini assured, admitting her own shifts of creative energy as she grew.
“I used to write and draw a lot of shit in my notebooks, now i don’t even keep a notebook around anymore. Anything i would write down. I dont know, is it because as we get older, we get less expressive?” she wondered.
Tini still keeps a small, special sketchbook that she draws in today, but like me, she doesnt draw or write as much or as wildly as she did years ago. We realized that at least both of us currently have a creative outlet for each of our hearts and minds to splatter and shatter upon.
And as she closed her words, i was able to look at my old sketches and (some) of my old writings in a different light. Actually being happy at the fact that these ideas once flowed in my head and happened on paper. As she did with hers.