On Thursday, it all came together. No, I am not talking about the 50,000 words I am supposed have done by the end of November. No, I am talking about the idea that I am a writer and where it all began. I never really admitted to myself that I even wanted to write until after I graduated college with a degree that now seems hilariously ill-suited.
Until yesterday, though, I didn’t believe wholeheartedly that I was any good at it. Or, I believed that because I came later to writing that I somehow wasn’t really a writer because I wasn’t one of those people who talks about having been born with a pencil in her hand. Yesterday, I saw it all so clearly. I was always a writer. I just grew up with this notion that anything I wanted was out of reach, so I should just settle for what’s in front of me. I have lived by this for a long, long time–too long. Mostly, I believe the notion was based in fear.
I clearly recall sitting in one of my favorite professor’s office. This was when I dared to go back to school after my first misguided effort and finally began doing what I wanted to do. Still, I wouldn’t admit back then that I could be a writer. I was going to be a teacher. That too was somewhat misguided at the time. At one point, I dropped out of the education program. That’s when I found myself in Professor Richard Sax’s office. He asked me what I wanted to do if I wasn’t going to be a teacher. I wanted to tell him that I wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. I still lived with that fear, that notion that because I wanted to be a writer so bad that there was no way I would be allowed to be a writer. I didn’t believe in my ability back then. I never told my professor that was what I wanted. I thought he would tell me I couldn’t, that I didn’t have the ability to make it.
Yesterday, I looked a lot of those old papers. I looked at the notes from professors. I don’t know why I didn’t see it really until yesterday, but I could write back then and I don’t think my professor would have told me I couldn’t. Tucked in with the college papers were little stories I wrote in fourth grade that had hints of imagination and imagery. In high school, I was one of those kids who did well enough, but I wouldn’t say any one of my teachers would remember me. There were two times, however, that teachers called me out on my writing after I put a lot of effort into creative assignments. One of the assignments was a story I had written in French. My teacher suggested I translate it back to English and send it somewhere. I never listened. I brushed it off. I thought successful writing happens to other people, not me. But, I see now that those were all clear signs.
In all those moments, what I failed to see was that the universe was throwing my destiny at my feet. I was walking over it, failing to recognize it as mine, most likely fearing the act of claiming it, know if I did I might be seen as presumptuous. I was trying to do something else, anything else that wasn’t so frightening. The thing is, and my family can attest to this, I am not good at lying. I could be practical for a while, but I wasn’t going to be successful at being practical for very long. And, it just made for a miserable me.
Yesterday, it all came together like when you are tuning a guitar string and suddenly the vibrations disappear and the note rings clear and smooth. This is my life. This is what I am supposed to be doing. As crazy and uncertain as it may be, I am a writer.
NaNoWriMo word count: 12,083