I haven’t written anything for myself in years. Yes, I’ve written emails, stuff for work, etc, but not anything that was solely for me. I’ve tried to start again here and there, but it never panned out for me. Either I didn’t like where my writing was going or I just felt I lost creativity/confidence in it so I would quit. Well, this is me. Today. Not quitting.
This is absolutely frightening for me, by the way, and for so many reasons, but I’ve narrowed it down to 3 for this blog.
- Have I forgotten every grammatical rule ever? I feel like I’m so out of practice that I may have. In all honesty, that one is the least of my worries. I tend to be a perfectionist so posting something with any mistakes within it will drive me absolutely batty! I’ll be editing these blogs for years to come.
- Will anyone even read this? I’m not all together that interesting. I’m a normal woman with normal worries and a normal day-to-day life with some extraordinary things that do happen occasionally, but those things are extraordinary to me and probably not to others. I, also, don’t know if I’m scared more by people not reading this or by people actually, really reading it.
- I’ve lost who I am somewhere over the years and I’m hoping my writing brings that back to me. I’m petrified to find myself again. On a public forum. That anyone can read. Whenever they want. But I feel it’s the only way for me to bring this part of myself back.
On that note, I think this first blog will be about that last bullet point. For the past year, various people in my life have asked me “what do you love to do?” and I could never answer. I could think of a million things I really enjoy; horseback riding, yoga (though I’m not good), running, craft-y things (again not good at them, but I like them), puzzles, organizing things (I never said I was normal), etc. Yet, nothing I LOVED would come to mind until…
Out of nowhere, someone brought up writing and to be cliché, it felt like a ton of bricks hit me. Why did I ever give this up? This was who I was for so long. I was the geeky kid who constantly carried around a notebook and a pen (it was the 1990s, people! No one carried around an iPad or laptop yet). I had permanent indents in my fingers from pens and pencils. I felt naked without my writing utensils. They were always a comfort to me; something I knew would always be there when I needed them. I leaned on them a lot in those years to get me through, well, life.
- Unrequited love – write. (I wrote so many of these that I was Taylor Swift before she could even hold a pen.)
- Depressed – write.
- Overcome with happiness – write.
- Death in the family – write.
- Daydreaming about my latest celebrity crush – write. (This could probably fall under unrequited love as well, but it was a daydream so it wasn’t unrequited in my mind.)
- Mad at my parents – write.
- Dealing with sadness cause my brother left for the army – write.
- Pining after your older brother’s friend – write. (Again not unrequited love because I did marry him eventually.)
I was known as “the writer” throughout my whole family. Every single one of them thought I would someday write a book or go into a creative writing profession. Guess what? I didn’t. Instead, in my early twenties, I got an office job that didn’t use those creative writing skills. I have no complaints about that job. I stayed with the company for 16 years until a recent lay off. Some people may think being laid off needs to be a sad thing, but it was time and I needed the push. I say “it was time” because that was when those “what do you love to do?” questions starting coming in and I realized I didn’t know who I was at all anymore. It took a person I barely know bringing up writing to make me realize that a huge part of who I am is writing and I just let that go. Why did I let that happen?
I didn’t let it go on purpose nor did I think about it as it was happening, but as you get older, life starts to get in the way. The few times I started to write again, I didn’t have the energy. It was hard enough working, going to see to my buddy, Lincoln (my horse), hitting a gym and then cooking dinner. I couldn’t possibly fit being creative into that. I was exhausted. But I made good money at my job, I loved my co-workers (yes, I know how lucky I am to be able to say that and mean it), and my husband and I always fit in some fun activities we loved together on the weekend. I wasn’t unhappy with my life, but I was aware that something was missing. I guess, because I hadn’t written in so long that I completely forgot how much I needed it. I taught myself to live without it, but with that, I also taught myself to just be a shell of a person.
I couldn’t find that interesting, unique, quirky, fun individual that I know I am. Even now, as I write this, I am still not confident that I found my individuality yet. YET; it’s an important word. I know that girl is in there somewhere and I will bring her out. She’s screaming at me deep down and it’s time.
I told my brother the other day that I was going to start writing again. I can’t even remember his reaction word for word, but I can remember how it made me feel. It made me feel confident in my writing and myself again. Almost, as if, he’d been waiting for me to realize that part of myself. Then I realized I had been waiting to realize that part of myself. I hate to be cheesy (I don’t hate it so welcome to my cheesy world; You’ll see it a lot in this blog), but it was as if my soul felt happy again.
Writing this took a ton of courage for me. Posting it will take even more. Posting a link on my social media pages will be a small miracle for me. But people should know me; the real me. The one I have kept buried for so long that I had forgotten she was there.
This is freeing for me.
I am writer.
Ask anyone in my family. Ask my closest friends. Ask me.
It’s who I’m meant to be.