To Write Is To Be Free
There’s something magical about writing. Maybe it’s that excitement that accompanies it. If you are a writer, I know you know that excitement. There’s something beautiful about being able to tie just the right words together to form an alternate reality in which we can become whomever we choose to. A sea of words we can become lost in.
I have never been orally articulate. My mind seems to race faster than the speed of light. I can never seem to find the words to accurately construe my true feelings, and when I try, it’s as if my brain shuts off, and instead of any coherent thoughts, I stumble, clumsily, through a slew of words, and half sentences that confuses not only myself, but the recipient of those words. This is especially true when trying to decipher my emotions. I’ve learned the only true way to express my deepest emotions is through writing. When my fiancé expresses any grievances with me, I listen, and only listen. I know it frustrates him, the fact that I cannot engage, but after years of loving an extremely stubborn and independent women, he’s learned to accept certain parts of me that I cannot change. He knows his words do not fall on deaf ears. He knows as soon as I have the time and space; my emotions will pour out onto a page, in a shockingly eloquent fashion. I have a notebook within arm’s reach at any point. It’s like, when I have that pencil in my hands my racing thoughts screech to a halt, and all of those overwhelming emotions I could not put into words dance from my pencil in such a remarkable way it even surprises me. Writing is my sanity. It is my calm, my peace, my magic. It is my escape from that vast uncomfortable vulnerability; with a pencil in my hand I am free.
I think when I look back, I’ve always been in love with writing, and sharing my writing still to this day sends a wave of exciting shivers down spine. My writing is who I am to the very core. It is that wondrous little girl I see in pictures hung up along the wall in my mom’s apartment. It is the piece of me who has always been, while the rest of me has changed dramatically with the years.
As a child, I was always gifted in mathematics; I never thought my writing was any good, despite encouragement from multiple language arts teachers. Although I can’t recall how old I was, I know I was not yet in high school, I remember it specifically, like it was yesterday, writing a story about a normal day in the life of Taylor. My teacher told me to stay after class; I remember the anxiety of combing through my previous actions wondering what I had done wrong. To my surprise, I hadn’t done anything wrong, she had read my work and encouraged me to continue writing and submit it to Chicken Soup for the Teenaged Soul. She said my use of imagery was far beyond my grade level. I never once seriously considered submitting any of my work. There was no way I was good enough to be published, and even to this day, years and years later, I still carry those uncertainties with me.
My insecurities could drown me if I let them. I usually keep them at bay by focusing on the present: working my fingers to the bone and keeping mental, and physical, lists of to dos. If I stay sedentary for too long, the realization of who and where I am in life tends to overwhelm me. I will be 24 this month. I have racked up more debt than my ten dollar an hour job plus tips will ever be able to pay off, not to mention will it ever allow me to start a family, or even keep my bills paid. I always assumed if I worked hard, like karma says, it will come back around. Looking back, I have been working in the wrong direction, giving all my energy to a dead end job and absolutely zero energy towards my future. I guess I always had this artificial justification as to why I am where I am. I had a rough life growing up. My father died when I was young, mother remarried soon after. After a cluster of home wrecking affairs on her part, she divorced. My mother and I moved into an apartment, away from my siblings who, one was already out of the house, and the other chose to stay with my step father. That’s when her addiction really took off, though at that age, it could have taken root years earlier and I was too young and naïve to notice. I started drinking and smoking cigarettes; my grades slipped, and I withdrew from extracurricular activities. I would wake up for school and fine random men in my mother’s room. It wasn’t long before we were evicted, but that is neither here nor there. I cannot allow my past to excuse my future, or lack thereof. It took years for me to realize that only I am responsible for me.
In my very early twenties, I escaped a crappy relationship and a crappier receptionist job by writing Walking Dead fan fiction, on the only amateur writing site I knew of: Quizilla. I racked up hundreds of loyal readers a week, that’s when I realized there is no better feeling than someone reading, and enjoying, my writing. I didn’t have a degree, and didn’t think I had the proper grammatical skills, or even creativity to pursue writing. It was, as it has always been, my escape. I never thought it could possibly be my future, until a few short years later when my best friend told me about freelance writing. I excitedly did my research, and after reading blog post after blog post I convinced myself I could never do it. I didn’t know where or how to start, so I tucked my tail between my legs, kept my head down, and continued to wait on entitled country club members who saw me as the help.
A few weeks ago, I had a realization; I was going nowhere, destined to struggle and live pay check to pay check. Being a waitress couldn’t get me far, if anywhere, and the damage it can do on a body was sitting right in front of me in the form of my best work friend, a 60 year old waitress who has a massive number of degrees and nothing but decades in the food industry. She walks with a limp, as she struggles with hip problems. She is nearly blind in one eye, and misery oozes from her very being. While I love her, I don’t want to be her. Even at 23, my hands hurt every day. My toes have been numb for the better part of three years, I have intense shooting pains throughout my arms and legs, and don’t get me started on my back pains. I wear an arm brace to work, and when I’m confronted by members, I shyly smile and tell them I have carpal tunnel. Most of the time they want to refer me to a surgeon who has performed the surgery on not one but both of their hands, I, enthusiastically, take down this doctors information, and toss it in the trash as soon as I can, knowing I have no health insurance, and no way of attaining insurance. The truth is, I don’t know if I have carpal tunnel, the only thing I can do is Google my symptoms, although I think I’ve narrowed it down to three possible conclusions: I have carpal tunnel, I have diabetes, which runs rampant in my family, or like my maternal aunt, I have multiple sclerosis. Regardless of what may be, I mustn’t concern myself with things I can’t change, and that’s the reason I started this blog, to start changing the things I can.
I don’t know if I am blogging right, or if there is even a right way to blog. I don’t know how to navigate Word Press, as I am worse than my mother when it comes to technology. I don’t know how to connect with other writers. I just read blog post after blog post, and try to not convince myself that these amazing writers wouldn’t waste the time of day on a nobody trying to make a name for herself. I don’t know if anyone is even reading this, or even how to get people to read this, but I must start somewhere. I must follow my dreams, or I will ultimately fall victim to my own doubts and insecurities. I will give it my all, I will persevere. My passion for writing grows immensely every time my pencil hits my paper. It is what it has always been: my freedom.