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Summ-ing it up: creative outlets boost emotional awareness

Summ-ing+it+up%3A+creative+outlets+boost+emotional+awareness
Andy Lynch

Microsoft Word was my window into a passion for writing poetry. 

I was eight years old, and my mom had just downloaded Microsoft Word onto her desktop computer. I watched eagerly as the cursor began to blink, awaiting my words to fill the electronic page. I took a seat on our couch, taking great care to establish my claim to this computer. Soon after, I typed my first stanzas.

Every morning, this routine would commence. I rushed down the stairs, snagged the computer and wrote as much poetry as my brain would allow. Grievances of my eight–year–old self – such as having to clean my room or wash the dishes – would transform into dramatic metaphors and sharp, staccato–sounding rhymes. I didn’t recognize it then, but writing poetry was my way of understanding myself and the world around me. 

As I grew older, making sense of our increasingly complex world was more challenging than ever. Rather than channeling this confusion into the solace of writing, I tamped it all down and reached for my phone and the TV remote instead. On the surface, these coping mechanisms kept me fully functional, but it was an unfulfilling cycle. 

Pure boredom on a rainy day, though not a pleasurable experience, provided me with the motivation to open Microsoft Word once more. Attempting to rekindle my love for poetry, I wrote a simple haiku. The contents of this poem were decidedly irrelevant, but I remember the distinct feeling of contentment and the creative release that I experienced thereafter. Once again, poetry had become a part of my daily routine.  

Writing poetry provided numerous outlets for my creative expression, but ultimately, its greatest gift was allowing me to reconnect with my younger self and find peace in the process. Through my poems, I was able to witness my transformation from ages 8–17. I could see how my ideas shifted with every new milestone and celebrate how much I’d grown. I couldn’t imagine not having this outlet. 

Creativity is a quality that is deeply undervalued in our society. We constantly favor  instant–gratification, relying on quick fixes and mind–numbing activities in order to cope with negative experiences. However, if you allow yourself to become acquainted with your creativity, you will activate the parts of your brain that process emotion and be able to sort through the seemingly unsortable. For me, this is writing poetry, but creative expression can take on many forms. Once you discover this outlet and embrace your unique creative self, the benefits will be limitless.

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About the Contributors
Summer Nichols, Co-Web-Editor-In Chief, Arts and Entertainment Section Editor
she/her Hi! I’m Summer Nichols, and I am a web-editor-in-chief and A & E section editor for The Arrow. I originally joined the staff because I wanted to copy Lanza Peretti (staff writer), but I soon discovered how much I appreciated being able to use our collective creativity to advocate for important issues at WHS. Outside of journalism, I am a member of SDAC, and I tutor elementary and middle school students twice a week. However, on weekends you can always find me glued to the couch with a good book or watching The Crown and Stranger Things (I tried my best to replicate the iconic Eleven expression, but I will never live up to the 2022-23 co-editor-in-chief Vivian Stein’s impressions). 
Andy Lynch, Opinion Section Editor
they/them Hey y'all, I'm Andy and I'm the Opinion Section Editor of The Arrow! Maybe I got the gig for my strong opinions, stunning personality, impeccable interview talents… or because no one else applied for the position. When i'm not taking an unreasonable amount of time to edit a story, you will most likely find me hiking until sunset while blasting a thrilling audiobook, rock climbing with my bestie Cash, or tucked away in Barnes and Noble reading just about any type of book I can get my hands on. In class, I love to spend my time avoiding work with my pal Junior, as we often spend the period looking up weird cowboy slang, creating dances, or making niche movie references. This staff is like a family to me, excluding the weird supervisor who I'm DEFINITELY not related to…Love ya Mom- I mean Mrs.Lynch. Oh and Junior? Don't call me, don't come by my house, we're done.
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