I remember writing poem after poem as a kid. For everyone. And mucking up diaries, writing stories, memoirs, eulogies, comic pages, and even songs, monologues and plays I would self perform. The days before we had any computers pens and pencils were my refuge when my over emotional Pisces side got the best of me. Even as a teen I would sit in my room with he windows wide open listening to Debbie Gibson and Madonna wondering why I couldn’t have a window seat like people writing in the movies. Eventually I pushed my bed right up against the window so I could sit there. Sitting Indian-style (it was OKAY to call it that back then) on a black and white graphic comforter on a full size bed with red metal headboard, I filled notebook after notebook with everything from secrets to memories, to hopes and dreams.
They eventually all went into a box which I regret to inform you I believe my parents threw away when I moved out because I have never been able to find those books and diaries again and I’ve been gone nearly 20 years. Part of me is extremely sad about this and part of me knows it’s for the best. My photographic memory still can see most of those pages and because it’s “all up here” I don’t need to see them in person. Whatever I have managed to forget can’t bother me anymore.
In high school I excelled in any and all writing assignments, my Senior Lit teacher sang me praises and had me continuously read my work aloud to the class that in hindsight probably made my classmates want to put a pen in their neck. I wrote a story about the first time I had to jump in the pool as a lifeguard and pull a kid out, then added some imagery and illusions in there on my own accord which made the old lady cream. My senior paper, the big one normal folk have nightmares about, was about the character “Pearl” in the book “The Scarlet Letter” and how she was entirely metaphoric. The irony was lost on everyone but me and the teacher who winked at me when she handed it back, a bright red A on the cover (it was also OKAY to give letter grades back then, no questions asked).
So why didn’t I chose a career as a writer? Well for starters when I finished high school even though it left an enormous crater in my heart to be giving up the stage, I had convinced myself I wanted to be a doctor. Working at the pool all those years I had a tight knit friendship with three others who were also going to the same University pre-med. This was one of the earliest examples of me not really being me but rather like always playing a role no different then when I was Rapunzel in Into the Woods. With these three friends we set off to be medical professionals.
One became a bonified pediatrician. Another, whom she married, became a Biology teacher and is now an administrator at a local high school. The third changed gears and is a Real Estate attorney, and as for me, well as we all know I transferred schools and became a music teacher. I still wasn’t convinced that being a writer was going to be a good stable career for a wife and mother, and needing a concrete “plan” the only other true love of my life was singing so Music Ed. it was.
I am happy and fulfilled being a music teacher. I love the kids. I love my curriculum. I love when they are singing up on the risers, their parents clapping and taking videos from iPads. I love my schedule and all it allows me to do. I love working in a school building and all the camaraderie that comes with.
But I still love to write. When I decided to do my Language Arts endorsement, I took a creative writing class that rekindled my relationship with my need to share. My final exam was a story called “Alone” about a stay-at-home mom and the façade of never being physically alone because you ALWAYS have your kids with you, but always feeling alone like you are in solitary confinement. It was an eye-opening assignment for a few reasons. One, it reminded me where I stood, what my feelings were as a mother, reaffirming that my feelings really had value and importance. Two, it proved that what I really needed to survive in this life was to write.
Now luckily I can type. No thanks to my teacher in the powder blue leisure suit as the only senior in an all-freshman keyboarding class in my high school. The only thing I got out of that class was the OJ Simpson verdict being transmitted by radio signal. I learned to type away at college using AOL instant messenger to keep in touch with my friends from back home and my boyfriend who hadn’t graduated yet.
And even though number ONE on my bucket list is to write and publish a novel (number TWO is to appear on a gameshow) when I decided to have my Lap-Band surgery, a blog was the clear way to go. If I were going to write a novel, it would be a memoir, or at the very least a fictional story that was really about me anyways with all the names changed. What I need to do is go back and print all of my posts from 2012 and fill a huge ass binder in case the technology apocalypse every happens. There, that’s my novel.
It’s not about who is reading, although I am humbled every day by those that are following my story day in and day out. It’s about instead of feeling like I am screaming at the top of my lungs when no one is listening, or sitting here mute with my head about to explode from over-thinking, I can write.
And so I do.