I believe that Poetry is half-way to happiness. Being a fun-loving only child, I satisfied my needs by creatively using what was around me. Back then, I used gigantic boxes, scissors, and duct tape to make a maze palace. As I entered middle school, I found a new creative outlet, poetry. Armed with an insatiable imagination, pen and paper, and (at that time) a rhyming dictionary, I used poetry to sort out my ideas and create my own world. Poetry wasn’t used to run away from life, I had close friends and involved with many clubs. The ability to express my innermost inspirations more clearly than my elementary drawings created an sense of excitement and vitality, and my own hidden paradise.
Poetry wasn’t always in literary form, in high school my poetry began to manifest in a musical form. I would express myself by composing songs and melodies. I would pour my hear in soul into the musicality to step into the movies as a pirate feel from triplet rhythm combinations or paint a colorful tale using the jazz scale.
When I played or wrote, I opened myself up and laid everything on the table. It brought peace of mind, as I consumed myself in my own creation. It became cathartic emotional release, as natural as relieving one’s self, though I hope that my poetry provided better imagery. It was through my private poetry that I gained a heightened self-awareness and consciousness of my emotional, philosophical, and spiritual views of myself. It was my own outlet, my own journal, the highest objective on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and it was half-way to happiness.
In my final year as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, I am beginning to go through the phase of reflecting on my high school and university years. Beyond the parties and tales, the memorable experiences are not individual accomplishments but being a part of something larger. One of those memories will be partnering up with my friend for an open mic night last year, he on the piano while I played the clarinet. On that stage we made up an entire song and just let lose the musicians inside us. The poetry that I remember from that night, is not my own music, but the amazing combination of my friend’s fast paced piano melodies and my high energy wailing tunes. That night we were able to blend our own unique styles and ideas into something that was larger than ourselves. It was during those types of experiences where my poetry become more than a cathartic release, it became a thread in the larger social fabric. The ability to recognize my own thread and admire the larger picture created from the thousands of other unique threads was the second half of journey towards happiness and one step closer to adulthood.