I love the sound of my keyboard as I pound away on the keys, writing down some of my deepest thoughts and life stories. I don't know if anyone will ever read these musings, but to be honest, I don't really care. Writing was always an outlet for me. When I was a child, I carried around a bag filled with paper supplies, pencils, crayons, sparkly pens, journals, etc. I took them with me everywhere, wanting to write even before I knew how. Then when I was in second grade, I "published" my first story, and I'll never forget the thrill I felt when my teacher handed me the book, bound together by one of those plastic combs. It was about my first cat, Tippy, and his death, and it was so profound to have written those feelings at the tender age of 8. When I was in fourth grade, my teacher pulled me aside for a private writing conference and told me that she knew I was going to be a famous author someday. I think I knew she was just saying that to build my confidence, but it fueled my desire to write, nonetheless.
I carried on through my school years, notebook in hand, writing hundreds of stories, some short, some long, some good, some terrible. I didn't really write so that people would read. I wrote because it passed the time. I wrote because I had millions of creative ideas. I wrote because it was a way for me to escape from my childhood.
As I got older, and my thoughts became deeper, I turned to fiction writing as an escape. I will not tell you that my writing was good, or award winning, or even entertaining. But at that time, it was the only way I could get away from my father. I could always go to my room and write my feelings down in a story, using fictional characters, with a happy ending. I saw myself in every character I used. I pretended that life always had a happy ending. See, because my home life wasn't anywhere near happy.
I grew up in a household where everyday I feared my father. His temper would boil at the drop of a hat. We never knew what he'd be like when we got home from work. We never knew if he would be in a good mood, or if he would come in the house yelling and screaming because we left the bathroom light on. I never got less than an A on a report card, simply for fear of the punishment from my father. I tried to stay out of his way as much as possible. Sometimes, often I guess, I was not successful. I lived a childhood full of bruises and feelings of inadequacy, and somehow that has transferred into my adult life.
Sometime in my teenage years, I lost the will to write. I think it came with the newfound freedom of getting a job and a car. I could finally leave the house (with my dad's permission, of course) and escape his rage. I always felt guilty leaving, though, because my younger brother was left to fend for himself. My father was always harder on him when he punished him. As the older sister, I always felt it was my duty to protect him. But my brother, C, always found a way to relate to my father. He would go out into the garage and help him fix engines and rebuild transmissions, and they would work side by side, my brother soaking up all the knowledge and expertise my dad had. To this day, they remain close, although I would have surely died in that house had I lived there as long as he has.
Today I rarely pick up the pen to jot down stories or thoughts. My writing happens in school, when I am teaching my students how to write. Even then, it's not heartfelt. And writing happens to be my least favorite subject to teach. I am not sure why I let my gift go to waste. I haven't written a story since high school. And now that I am ten years out, I know that my style is stagnant, and unmoving. I know that my technique needs to be polished and refined. Certainly that will come with time. All I know is that while I was on vacation last week, in a moment of alone time with God, I was asking him what I should do with my life- what His purpose and will for me was. The answer I got was "write". Nothing more. And in the car ride home, my thoughts were peppered with ideas and subjects to write about. Little snippets and moments that I just felt I had to jot down.
And since I already had this blog, and I type much faster than I can write, I figured, why not?