On Tuesday night I attended a poetry event which my work colleague Cleo invited me to. I only decided to go so I could watch her perform but I left with a wider understanding and outlook on certain things.
I arrived half way through a set. The poet who was performing as I walked in had a stammer, like me and I was intrigued by how he was performing and what he was saying.
It was fascinating seeing him force himself through certain words and sentences that were difficult to say but the more he spoke and became confident, the less he stammered. I rarely come into contact with other people who stammer so when I do, it’s a unique experience for me and I always leave learning something from them.
Openly speaking about his experiences with his stammer through poetry was really inspiring. I could identify with what he was saying, especially about being placed in a box and expected to stay there until you die but deep you know there's more to you. There’s a creativity, a dream as passion, something within you that’s bursting to come out, and you just want to break out of it and live, like everyone else without restrictions just because of a speech impediment .
There were other poets who recited poetry that were deep and really caught my attention. I felt like I was getting to know some of them through their poetry.
Some who appear shy and reserved when you see or speak to them, on stage were the complete opposite. It's like they came out of their shell and the stage was the place they felt at home and could be themselves.
I could feel the pain that some have gone through or are currently going through because of a break up, traumatic experience or another life event that has affected them.
For some they feel free to express themselves through their writing. Quite therapeutic I can imagine.
I was thinking how sad it is that people only feel comfortable to be themselves when they are in a certain place or environment (mostly when they are around people who share similar interests to them) but the rest of the time they hide behind a corporate suit with tension on their shoulders and a serious face, or they have to tailor themselves to what society or tradition deems as the norm, so they can blend in and fit in with the crowd. A lot of people are afraid to be themselves. I used to be like this but I thank God I changed.
Being different is difficult at first. You’re misunderstood, misjudged and even ridiculed. But you know what? Different is beautiful and in fact people admire and respect you much more for being different then they do for being like everybody else because it takes courage! You’re your own person. You stand out, even without intending to.