I used to be a writer. And then I did it for a job and close to a decade of writing the same articles over and over and fighting over punctuation left me without much to give. The same thing happened with photography. Once I did it for money, I didn’t want to do it for fun.

Things are different now. I don’t jump at the chance to make money on freelance work anymore. I don’t chase down jobs. I need the money more than ever but it somehow doesn’t seem worth the energy I have to sacrifice. I spend more of my days listening, and when I have to put words on paper for my job, I’m more concerned with the design of the content than the sentence structure.

I talk less. I live in a different country now. I traded one loneliness – the kind where you’re surrounded by people – for the other type, the kind where more often than not, you’re actually physically alone. I have people here, but not many of them. Sometimes I have to check that my phone is still working. There’s an odd mix of both emptiness and freedom in this that I’m still getting used to.

The words want out. For once, I feel like I have the capacity to let them. I like that.