Monday, August 6, 2012

Getting through writer's block

By Renan Meira (Queens, NY)

I have a huge difficulty making decisions for myself. Perhaps it’s because my mind tends to generate a lot of ideas at the same time, and sometimes I get lost. Whenever somebody asked me what I wanted to write about on my first blog at SJP, I would say, “ I have an idea...” even though I was never really sure.

So here I am in front of PC5181 (which is actually a Mac computer and not a PC), staring at the cursor trying to find a way to start this. Then one of the counselors approaches me and asks me if I need anything. Before we even know it, we are having this very interesting conversation about how important it is to let our thoughts out. Not necessarily by sharing them with anyone, but by using the power of writing to be intimate with yourself.

The conversation comes just a few hours after the amazing talk we had with professor Daphne Brooks who teaches English and African-American studies at Princeton University. She touched upon the idea of using writing as a tool for developing self-respect and to liberate our minds from its own confusions. The bottom line was that a good way to start is by actually starting.

However, that start (which I was able to successfully achieve in this post) would be much harder if we didn’t have the help we are getting from all the counselors. They have certainly been the biggest surprise of this program so far. I could have never imagined that I would feel so comfortable talking to them as equals, as real friends, as I did in these first days of the program.

“We want you to be as proud as we are of you,” one of the counselors said. I think that is very valuable, because we see that they really care about us. Also, the fact that so many of them came back to the program as counselors shows how the program creates this community of mutual help.

The experience of meeting all the counselors and feeling so connected to them is one of the aspects of SJP that I will remember for the rest of my life.

As for myself, I will try to make them as proud as I can in the future.

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