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An Explanation

In Personal on September 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

As I explained in my “Who, Me?”, I’m newly open about writing and putting myself out there.  So why, after all my years, did I decide to just go for it?  In a recent battle with light-weight insomnia, I threw this little explanation together…

Writing has always interested me. I was gifted with words from a young age. One of my mothers favorite stories to tell is when I definitively declared “This is disgusting” in reference to some food at one year old. Between three and four I taught myself to read with little guidance or trouble. I remember being one of the few children, if not the only one, in my head-start class that could read an entire sentence when the teacher wrote it on the chalkboard. I loved being tasked with creative writing activities in elementary and middle school. This was also when I began to dabble in my own personal short stories in my free time.

During my summer vacations from school I participated in the book club, which basically meant I signed an agreement with my teacher that I would read “x” amount of books over the course of the next two months and track my progress. If I completed it, I was awarded a discounted or free meal at the local Pizza Hut. Needless to say, I always read well above my specified number. It’s amazing that I stayed so scrawny for so long. I breezed through English classes in high school, even taking on the dreaded Advanced Placement senior English. My senior writing portfolio was nearly perfect, if I can just take a moment to toot my own horn. I still have copies of the papers I wrote for it, and I’m still quite proud of them almost a decade later.

So how did I end up with a human services degree and employed with a large mental health company? One class in high school taken as an elective to fill up my day and a slight influence from an incredibly adorable and pitiful child actor in a quite popular and often quoted and parodied movie completely changed the direction of my life, but I’ll be getting to that a little later. Back to my writing history. I had already grown to love some of the typical classics: Pride & Prejudice, The Scarlet Letter, Their Eyes Were Watching God (if you haven’t read this one, you MUST before you die!). In college, I was lucky enough to be further exposed to more great works through English and humanities classes. I grew to love Shakespeare and all the intricacies he used to describe and portray the simplest and most common of human emotion.

But my area of study was in no way related to the creative arts, and once my general university requirements had been met, I had no opportunities to take these classes anymore. I was on my own to keep my interest in literature. Regretfully, real life got in the way of my peace and satisfaction of reading and writing. I haven’t written anything substantial in probably three years, and I’m almost embarrassed to say that I haven’t finished a book in well over two or even tried to read one in nearly a year. Several months ago, while fabricating a fake news report about the reaction to and reward offered for my missing office pet beta fish and posting printed copies of this “news report” around my office building (don’t get the wrong idea: I work hard. I also play hard and find creative ways to unwind and break up my day), my supervisor asked me if I had ever considered writing.  “Writing, like really writing something.” I lightweight brushed it off, as writing had been a mere pastime that, while I did enjoy, did not see as something I could actually turn into something worthwhile for myself. She went on to tell me that I was very creative and had a way with words and that she felt it would be worth my while. I suppose that stuck with me, and when just yesterday, after telling my mother a very colorful story during our nightly telephone conversation, she stated that I needed to write, I took a moment to think about this. “But I don’t even know what I would right about.”                                                                                                                                                                    “Well, just your life. Stories, like what you just told me.”                                                                                                                                                                “I don’t know how you would even write that kind of thing!”                                                                                                                                                     Her response was, “the same way you just said it when you were telling me. You’re a very good story-teller with a dry sense of humor that is appealing to a lot of people. You could write a book like I tried, but you would be successful with it”.

And I took this in a mulled it over in my brain and came to the conclusion that they were right. I had a secret creative side that I myself had not seen in far too long and I knew deep down that I had missed that outlet in my life. So here I sit, at 11:15 pm, unable to sleep, knowing I need to be awake in less than eight hours for work, furiously jotting out these thoughts in my head about how I reached my decisions to even start this in the first place. And the one thing that is for certain: it feels amazing.

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