Since childhood, I have wanted to be a writer. I can remember having friends stay the night and we would stay up all night making up tales of fiction. I remember having pen pals and writing to them the old-fashioned way. I loved to check the mail so much that one of my friends that lived in the same town would send me notes in the mail, even though I saw her all the time. It was so fulfilling and exciting to get a letter from a pen pal. The anticipation was just as much fun as reading the letter. And, of course, each letter I wrote was crafted with care, sometimes written multiple times over.
Although, I could feel it in my body, my mind was not mature enough to recognize how much writing nourished me. And so for many years, I got “busy”, as we call it, with meeting others expectations that I thought were really my own. There have been sporadic times thruout the last 20 years that I have written, but mostly out of utter despair. In my teenage years, I was likely to write of heartbreak. Although I was the one doing most of the heartbreaking, persay, I was certainly not above being hurt by boys. As a matter of fact, it happened all the time. But, in hindsight, I see that I brought most of that on myself–just not really knowing how to love or to be in love. That’s a lesson I am still learning!
At other times, I wrote in a journal, again out of deep despair as a way to sort out my feelings. And many of those times, I had got to what I call “the end of self”. And then there are the times I’ve written thank you letters and notes. That may seem silly to mention, but I never really saw the point in writing anything other than a heartfelt, personal note to each and every person that had done something nice for me. I always thought saying the same boilerplate thing to every person just to get them done sort of seemed to defeat the purpose of writing them in the first place. My mother says that I write the best thank you notes in the world. And while I think she exaggerates that some, it is true that I have been known to spend time on them.
A few years back, I was given a writer’s tool kit. In it were popsicle sticks with starter phrases, a spinner dial with character traits and cards with random words, all designed to help one write–just something, anything to practice writing. Well, I didn’t stick with that for very long primarily because I didn’t think I wanted to write fiction. I have always been enthralled with the spiritual and philosophical writings more than anything. I have always felt in the depths of my soul that there was an auto biography in the making–not in the true sense of an autobiography, but more in the sense of memoirs.
I happen to be in a relationship with the greatest guy on earth and he says that I have had more experiences in my life thus far than most people have in an entire lifetime. I’ve always felt like that, too, but when someone else says it, it gives it a little more validity. For many years, I wore those experiences as a badge of courage, or at least that was my intent. In truth, what I accomplished was to alienate people from me with a shell of feigned independence and a prickly exterior. And I felt justified because I had so many experiences. Today, I know there is a better way than to derive my personal power from my wounds. I know that I can share the wisdom gleaned from them and offer something of value to another person and in doing so, I too get something of value.
For me, writing is deeply personal and often spiritual. The process of attempting to string words into sentences, picking just the right adjectives and punctuating to inflect tone somehow helps me get clarity in my own life. And I am coming to learn that whether I am crafting make-believe, constructing philosophy, gleaning experience or writing memoir, that truth holds constant for me. Writing helps me to stay clear. And when I haven’t written in a long while and I suppress the tongues of my soul, after a time I start to feel it in my body. In a very real sense, my body becomes sick with language. For me, there is an indescribable freedom in having written–something, anything. When I am obedient to that, I am free to do whatever my heart desires and do it well and in clear consciousness. That is the purpose of this blog.
I am learning that so many things that I once believed were contradictory are really, in fact, paradoxical. This blog is one of those paradoxes. It can be for me and from me at the same time that it is for you and to you. Here is where I glean my soul’s delight. Here is where I stay clear. Here is where I hope you find a small morsel of something that speaks to you that, in some way, helps you on your life’s journey and makes a difference for you.