I’ve found out that when I write or sing in a language that I know other people cannot understand, I feel more secure. It comforts me to know that I am the only one who has access to the words, at least in most situations in Geneseo. There is no room for judgment, and it is a reminder to others that I have a whole other world they will never understand.
I think this reflects a flaw of mine: sometimes I would rather people not understand me than for people to judge me. I would rather they acknowledge the fact that they cannot put themselves in my shoes than to let them put themselves in my own shoes and let myself be vulnerable to whatever interpretations they may make of that experience. To be a successful writer (or to be successful in general), one cannot be afraid of failure and rejection. It is so hard with creative things because one’s creation is usually so tied with the creator. When one’s creation is attacked, the creator feels personally attacked. And so sometimes to protect my creation (or myself) from attacks, I would rather create something others obviously cannot understand enough to judge.
However, connection is the very thing that makes writing, or any form of communication, alive. Not trying to get too philosophical here, but I believe it is what makes the human alive too. We were made for connection, for deep, intimate connection. Our greatest desire is to be known and to be loved; our greatest fears are either to be unknown or to be known but rejected/unloved. Instead of using a second language as a barrier of communication that serves to protect my weak self-esteem and ego, I want to use it to communicate something that the reader’s native language would not be able to communicate. This is a reminder to myself that the purpose of writing in a language the reader does not understand must be meaningful even to the reader, that I cannot just use it as an escape mechanism.