I was in third grade when I won my first award for writing. I do not remember what I wrote about, but I know it was a poem. I remember feeling like I was the greatest writer in the history of the world! Well, in the history of my elementary school.
In the sixth grade, I had an English teacher named Mrs. Thompson. I recall her stern demeanor and her no-nonsense approach to discipline in her classroom. I was a pretty cocky English student since my award win a few years prior. I wrote a paper for her once. I thought was an incredible writer; she quickly told me told me it was less than amazing. I distinctly remember her saying to me, “Just because you won one writing award, doesn’t make you an expert. Try again.” I recall being hurt and put off by what she said, but she quickly became my favorite teacher and she, at my 8th grade graduation ceremony, awarded me with the English award. I was on my way!
High school writing began to take an emotional turn for me. I was in honors English courses, eventually ending up in Advance Placement by my senior year. I was on the yearbook staff as well as our school’s literary publication staff. I wrote a lot in those four years, in and out of school. Teenage angst influenced my subject matter. Love poems, break-up poems, hate poems, family poems – I had one for them all. I attempted to write stories, essays and vowed that I would be a published author before I died, and even if no one buys my book, I would be happy I did it.
Writing continued to be a cathartic experience for me through my late teens and into my mid-twenties. Family strife, depression and long-lost loves were topics then. I struggled with self-expression without judgement and ridicule outside of my writing notebooks, so I wrote about it in them. I wrote about my life and how unfair it was in a journal; how I was always someone’s option when I made them a priority (sorry for that cliché statement). Writing about it helped me walk around with a smile on my face.
Then, my future husband came home from the Navy and the next phase of my life began. That is when I stopped writing.
I didn’t journal, I didn’t write poetry, I even stopped reading. There is no blame being placed on my husband, or my life situations, I just stopped. The longer I went without putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), the more difficult it was to pick it up. I missed it and thought about it all the time, but I never made the effort to continue toward my goal of being published.
Fast forward through seventeen years of life, and I am here in Virginia, starting to write again. There is no angst or strife in my life, no anger or heartbreak. I decided that reading and writing was important and I needed to cultivate and nourish that part of me. I love it and need it in my life.
It was through the examination of myself and my desire to live a more positive life that I realized that I compromised who I was without even realizing it. Almost two decades later, I am sitting in front of a monitor writing my about my love affair with words, and I feel our relationship has been rejuvenated. It was not because I no longer wished to write, it was life that gets in the way of some loves. I do not dare call it a hobby; it is so engrained in me that saying that would be an insult.
So I am 39yrs old, married for almost 15 years and have a 13 year old son, and I write. I write this blog, I connect with feelings, I give recipes and DIY tips. My coup de plume is coming, and it will be published.
I will be proud, even if no one reads it.