I believe that writing isn’t necessarily a gift or a talent, and I believe that I have the words inside of me. The writing process is, to me, finding those words and letting them out. It’s not just letting out angst, or writing what I feel like writing about. There’s no such thing as inspiration. It’s playing around with words, hanging out with the language, making friends with it, tearing it apart like any scumbag enemy, and then kissing and making up with it. It’s getting mad at the piece, hitting it, caressing it, shedding tears over it, and laughing at it. And then when I’m done, I print it out, look at it, and then crumple it up and throw it away. It’s never good enough. I start all over, but then I save those words. Someone wise taught me that, whether I use it or not, those are my words and nobody else’s. That’s what being a writer is all about to me, and I’m a writer. I’ve always been a writer, and I wouldn’t know how to begin a piece on my identity without stating that.
With that out of the way, I suppose I shall introduce myself. My real name is unimportant; you can call me write-a-holic. I wasn’t always this way. Okay, that’s a complete lie. I’ve always been this way; I’m always writing. But my focus in writing has changed, as has my focus in life. That’s why I think the perfect bumper sticker slogan to describe my identity is #GirlInterrupted. Prior to two years ago, I was a completely different person than I am today. In 2010, my life was completely interrupted–as cleanly as if someone had pressed a reset button. I lost my son, and I thought that I would never come back from that. However, I realized at some point that I couldn’t stay down forever. I needed to take the bull by my horns, scoop up my life, and start all over. Now I’m here at college, eleven years after high school, earning a dual degree in Psychology and English. I’m proud of myself for getting here. I like to think that he would be proud of me too.
I’m a little bit crazy. I often refer to myself as the Energizer bunny on steroids. This is probably due to the fact that there is a steady amount of caffeine in my bloodstream throughout the day. I have a tendency to be somewhat reserved in physical discussion, but I find that it’s easier to be open in my writing. I can make a connection via writing much more easily than in person. This is why I want to be a writer.
I used to believe that I was stuck forever. Now I believe that I was just holding myself back. I’m nobody’s puppet–I make my own decisions. I used to believe that my happiness was dependent upon others. I played the puppet role. Now I believe that it is dependent on me. This relates to Greenblatt’s ideas on self-actualization. “I think, therefore, I am.” If I believe in the positive, then I will project the positive until it happens. I also refer to this as the “fake it ‘till you make it” philosophy.
I used to believe that life was all about work. Now I believe that I can work hard, but still have time for fun too. If you don’t have time to take a break every now and then, you aren’t really living. I like to go out every once in a while and play a little cribbage or Dutch Blitz. I also like to have fun while teaching (my outside job), and I try to make things fun for my students as well.
I used to believe that when bad things happened, only bad could come from them. Now I believe that life is whatever we make of it. I used to believe that an interruption like what happened to me was the end of everything. Now I believe that it was just the beginning.
Meredith Grey, from my favorite show, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, sums things up well: “Sometimes reality has a way of sneaking up and biting us in the butt, and when the dam bursts, all you can do is swim. The world of pretend is a cage, not a cocoon. We can only lie to ourselves for so long. We are tired, we are scared, denying it doesn’t change the truth. Sooner or later we have to put aside our denial and face the world. Head on, guns blazing. Denial. It’s not just a river in Egypt, it’s a freakin’ ocean. So how do you keep from drowning in it?” You keep from drowning by moving on, by filling the hole. You keep from drowning by changing your beliefs and taking away whatever you can from life’s interruptions.
Life has been rough. But this, here, is me starting over. Welcome to my journey.