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Blog post by Nadja Jukic

Sometimes it feels good to just stop. Which is difficult to do if your to-do list is longer than your arm, the world is enveloped in an epidemic, the political state of your country (and, in fact, most other countries) is catastrophic, and you have a blog post to write (yes, this very blog post). This will not be one of those posts. I’m in no way a moral authority on how to “relax” or “unwind” after a long day or during a stressful period; my personal idea of relaxation is a large glass of white wine and an hours-long binge of an intense Danish political drama. Instead, what I want to say is that writing is a kind of stopping; the kind that is worth doing now more than ever.

A professor I once knew said writing a diary means giving the chaos of your life a narrative. He was right. Writing makes feelings digestible. Black words on white paper seem manageable. In our heads, feelings can be invisible and heavy; elusive thoughts will find their way out and escape into the world regardless of how much we try to contain them. Pinning them down is a form of control, and no amount of words will make paper (or, for that matter, your phone or your laptop) any more heavy.

But I’m tired. But I’m unmotivated. But I’m stressed out, anxious, tense; but I have no time, as if time is something we’ve ever actually had, possessed like an object we saw and bought. No, I don’t have the time either. But I take time; I carve it out, I create it myself, like I am taking the time now to write this. It is always possible, there, on the tip of your tongue, at your fingertips, you can feel it. The time you don’t have, but you will have to take, to just stop, once in a while. So let us be sentimental for a second. Write that story you’ve been thinking of. Write that poem. Write a page in your diary. Stopping to write can be therapeutic. Writing this has been for me. Am I more relaxed? Not really. Am I going to return to my endless to-do list after this? You can bet. But hey, at least I stopped. And it felt good.