I also learned to read and speak very early and once I started, my parents couldn’t get me to shut up! I read every label I came across out loud whether someone was listening or not. I also loved to perform and would do so with the accompaniment of the television and whichever one of my favorite childhood songs was on (I still remember my favorite Barney songs and almost every theme song for every show I’ve ever watched, WORD. FOR. WORD.) So my parents put me in various activities to make use of all this expression and energy, from school performing arts groups to the church choir. So basically I was a pretty animated kid…until I started school, that is.
I feel like something went wrong when I began school. I’m not sure what it was; I was still that happy little kid who loved to express herself, but it started to dwindle. Certain interactions became tedious and I dreaded school. I also feel like some other dynamic in my life shifted, and I didn’t feel as compelled to express myself anymore. I didn’t feel like anyone was paying attention or would care. I became mistrustful of the persons who did listen, because I realized I only served to benefit them, when they needed me to do things like join the debate team, or represent the school at a function or enter competitions…and this is still just Preparatory school.
By high school, I’d surrendered. New environment, new people, new standards. I was completely out of my depth. So I waded through. I didn’t do all the things I used to. I didn’t join clubs or speak up in classes. I kept my head down and tried to become classroom apparatus. Close friends got to know the animated side of me and some the other side as well, but it was still not without some skepticism and all the while, I always kept them at arms length. But through all of these stages, one thing stayed constant…I wrote.
I always felt safe with a pen in my hand pouring my thoughts onto the page whether to intricately coax a poetic concept to life, or simply vent the turbulence happening in my head and heart. Paper always had patience. Paper didn’t judge me. Paper didn’t tell me lies. Paper didn’t have lofty expectations. Paper didn’t try to influence me. Paper didn’t try to overshadow and outshine me. Paper always sat ready and willing to listen and comfort me. Paper was always my friend.
It’s this relationship with writing that’s helped me to both lose and find myself. There have been so many times when I been upset or confused, or even boundlessly happy, and have looked around to see if there was anyone for me to share these feeling with and have come up empty, for one reason or another. But it’s writing that never fails to be there for me to work through what I’m feeling and makes sense of it all. It’s writing that helps me to settle the chaos and calm the noise. And that’s why I write…because I don’t know how not to.
Even when I don’t have the time to physically set pen to paper or tap it out on my laptop, or even make a note in my phone, I write in my mind. I piece my words together and I say what I need to. Sometimes, I remember these thought-writings and am able to transcribe them, and sometimes I don’t. But I always write. Whether it’s a tweet, or a status, or a hashtag or a blog post or whatever, I write, because the truth is, without writing I don’t feel like I have much of a voice.
To be honest, not much has changed. I still scribble on everything and feel the need to test every writing tool I cross paths with. I’m still animated but only within certain spheres. I still sing along to all the show theme songs shamelessly. And I still pour my heart out in words, because, it reminds me that I’m living and breathing and feeling and that means I’m alive, and experiencing something that is important enough to affect me. And it doesn’t matter if it’s read by a panel of judges, or strangers on the internet or friends, or just me…what’s important is that I lived and told the tale…and that’s why I write.
xoxo, from where my 7 dreams grow…