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 Author with stacks of unpublished novels?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.