Paper and Pencil (and a few stacks of books)

When I entered college back in 1998, I knew one thing. I loved to write. Okay. Maybe I knew two things. I loved to read just as much.  Books were my best friend. My paper and pencil were never far from my hand. I was much better at relationship through paper (both in reading and in writing) than I was through real life.  I made sense on paper. In real life, I think I was a little lost. I identified with characters and plot lines. Real life wasn’t the same. I couldn’t devour real life the same way I could read a book in 2 hours. Real life is slow. It takes time. It never follows a plot line.

When it was time to decide on a major, the only thing I knew was that I wanted to study English. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew. I didn’t have visions of myself working a grown up job. I had visions of wandering around the world with my books and my pencil. I wanted to save the world. I wanted to write about saving the world. No surprise I majored in English. My major was decided.

Or so I thought.

Selecting English as a major wasn’t enough. I had to select a concentration. My parents and logic encouraged me to concentrate on education. If I was going to study English, I should teach. Once again, my brain that wandered the world (a brain I turned off too early in my life) thought maybe I could teach.  If I’m going to teach, I’ll become a professor. I can read books.I can write. I can get paid to do both.  While my logical side was telling me to check the education box next to English, my heart was screaming to check Creative Writing. I felt alive when I wrote. I felt accomplished.  Looking back, I think I was even pretty darn good. I certainly had potential.

Potential for what? Starving artist? Author with stacks of unpublished novels? Journals filled with poetry no one ever read? Logic won the debate.  English with a concentration in education was my choice. I would be an English teacher. 5 years later (yes! I was on the 5 year plan) I graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in English with a Virginia State Teaching Licenses.

I never taught. I never felt at home in a classroom. I had moments when I loved it while I was student teaching. I had a lot of moments when I cried. I think a part of me is always meant to be the student. I love learning. I love absorbing the world around me. I never figured out how to teach, comfortably, as myself. I always wanted to be sitting behind the desk instead of standing in front of it.

With a diploma in hand, I moved to Alabama. I was no longer sitting in creative writing classes. I no longer had required readings. I no longer had direction. After a quick year in Alabama, I moved to Tennessee. After 3 years in Tennessee, I moved back to Virginia. In that time frame, I had my son. I got divorced. I lost myself. I lost my love of writing. I lost my passion for reading. I found myself. I fell in love with myself. I fell in love with Christian. I’m falling in love with writing again.

It has been nearly 10 years since I wrote a poem. I haven’t written a short story since college. I’ve written hundreds of letters explaining myself. my choices. my thought process to other people who needed understanding. I haven’t written anything for me.

I’ve missed that part of me.

Slowly but surely like all the good things that exist within us, it starts to bubble near the surface. My desire to write is definitely bubbling. When I run, I wish I had a tape recorder. Thoughts. Stories. Word choice. Phrasing. All these thoughts are creeping back into my head. When I’m basking in my yoga-high, I feel the need to reach for paper and pencil. Even with this blog, I can’t stay away from it. I find myself searching for good writers. I find myself wanting to write more than just my daily rambles. I watch Cole, and I want to recorded his moments. I have conversations with my baby, and I want to write him or her stories. I have real love for myself, for Christian, for my family. I want to recreate the emotions on paper.

I don’t know what it is or where it’s going or if it’s going anywhere at all, but I’ve got my paper and pencil ready for whatever thought, story, character, emotion decides to come hang out on my shoulder and whisper in my ear. Some things just deserve to be on paper.

My beautiful Grandma at her first job...in front of her typewriter
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11 thoughts on “Paper and Pencil (and a few stacks of books)

  1. I just want to say, although I haven’t commented before this, I have been reading your blog. I really enjoy your writing style, and I think that if you decide to go with this, you will definitely succeed. I can relate to pretty much everything you’ve written. It’s funny how I can’t find the right words now, but I just want you to know that you’ve inspired me to start writing again.

    1. Oh Good!!! You have always been so talented (even way back in our elementary school days!). Write away! It certainly does feel good! and thank you for reading.

  2. UMMM….Did a certain someone special (or at least I think she’s pretty darn special) tell you to start writing again a few months ago??? I may not always have wisdom for myself, but I think I called this one. Get to writing I need something good to read. Love you!

  3. I love everything about this post… a lot of it describes how I feel/felt… and I took the route of English teacher. I love it everyday- ok most days! Oh how I wish you were a teacher with me!! How much fun would THAT be! Keep doing what you love Kristy because look how much you inspire others… me for example!

    1. It would be so much fun to teach together! I don’t think i ever gave it a fair chance – Granby High School and Oscar Smith Middle School in South Norfolk probably weren’t the best places for me to teach when I was 22! I’m loving your blog journey, and your writing is such an inspiration to me. So glad you got started!!!

  4. That was wonderful to read and the picture at the end really took me and my heart by surprise…tissue please. I live life safe…you should live life following your passion. I love you!

  5. Beautiful post! I didn’t know that side of you. You are an excellent writer – regardless of any other writing endeavors that you undertake, you always have your blog.

    Hope you are having a good weekend.
    ps: i love your mom’s comment – that is something that my mom would say (and has said) to me.

  6. I drank this one in, love your gift for words (wish I had that same gift) My beautiful Mom, you look so much like her. Keep writing, it’s a gift you can share with us all! 💛

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