Several weeks ago, I was digging through some old journals and folders and the like; stuff I'd managed to collect into one box over the last several years, then just move around place to place. Some of it was notes from my favorite classes in high school: German, speech, calculus, etc. (I overcame my pack-rat self, and in. A sort of cathartic moment, threw those away. But what I had substantially more numerous were journals and stacks of written pages, and scraps with scribbles and musings...
I used to write so much. Pages upon pages filled to express myself; prose with odd little drawings in the middle, clusters of potential song lyrics with arrows drawn around, words crossed out and changed, chords and rhythms scattered around. I had forgotten all about that stuff. It was really astonishing to realize just how much there was. And these days I never write. In fact, I'm not sure there's anything I do to express or give outlet to the thoughts and emotions that fill me, that long ago filled me and have since been screaming in crowded frustration to be set free. Sometimes a thought will escape through twitter. And sometimes I'd get to sit down with one or two of my best friends to discuss certain aspects of certain things. But nothing as substantial as just sitting down with a pencil and paper, and writing until my brain is emptied. Blogging is not even the same relief. There's still certain things I censor or entirely abstain from writing. Though my audience is small, there's still certain things I don't want to risk igniting or pushing or causing unintended offense.
I used to still get some emotional release just in playing music with others. But I haven't once had the opportunity since moving. (and I'm terrified I never will get those opportunities again, short of the occasional YouTube cover happenstance for kicks with Brian.) so I no longer have that release through music.
And I can't remember the last time I've taken photographs just for the sake of having a relaxing and fun time out. I spend so much time with a camera attached to me for the sake of work, and even though I love my job, I leave the camera with work to get a break from it. I don't view it as an expression anymore, just a tool for work.