Writing to Find the Words: An Intuitive Introvert’s Story
By: Jennifer Boyd
IG: @ jenniferrrboyd
The title is only ostensibly an oxymoron. I love words. The fluency of language is compelling to me beyond expression. There's something artful in the way people use language as a vehicle of expression, a way to communicate their innermost thoughts and feelings. I am forever transfixed by those whose words flow effortlessly from their mouths, unwavering, fluid, and unflinching.
As someone who is often praised for being "articulate," I feel that the impression I give to my exterior world is grossly misleading. The greatest irony is that I struggle with words more than any of my peers could ever fathom.
What's even more shocking is that, in the midst of this chaos, I write. I identify as a writer, and those close to me know me as a poet and blogger. My English teachers have always been particularly fond of me for my "affinity for the English language," my demonstrated passion for the written word.
But, they too have only a linimal understanding of my story. It's incredibly challenging for me to express myself in words. The art of translation is baffling to me. So, I often don't speak at all. My friends and classmates would never hesitate to call me "quiet" or "introverted."
I'm extraordinarily intuitive. When I read, I interpret the literature as visuals. In my mind, the words don't translate immediately to distinctive ideas or arguments. A psychoanalyst would struggle to detect a logical thought pattern in my brain. Rather, a billion sparks erupt in my mind as I hone into a word or phrase with an interesting shade of meaning. These sparks, my responsive feelings, move fast and span in every direction possible. They accelerate beyond the scope of human comprehension and can never be captured all at once. I am so often too sluggish to unify them into a cohesive and communicable entity.
My journal is a vessel for my most precious thoughts. I prefer writing by hand to typing on a computer. Tracing my pencil across the page allots my thoughts enough time to coalesce into a concrete form. So often, my fingers type too fast and the synapses are just short of sparking. But then, the visuals summoned inside my mind dissipate almost as quickly while I'm engaged in deep thought. I can only hope to capture my image-driven ideas on paper and translate them into written form before they're lost.
Writing is the only way I can attempt to find clarity in the madness. Putting pen to paper helps me articulate my thoughts on a scale comprehensible to not only me but the world around me. I want to engage with this world and immerse myself in its fullness.
The truth is, I struggle to communicate my ideas in a form as precise and rational as language. And this is because I don't experience the world in such a fashion.
I experience the world viscerally, not verbally. My brain is an amalgam of the feelings and untranslatable experiences I've garnered thus far. My interaction with the world occurs through the lens of my intuition. This intuition is what compels me to think deeply about the words I say before they leave my mouth. This intuition is what draws me to writing as a vehicle of reflection and an instrument of understanding.