I was seven when I first made the connection that stories did not just fall straight out of thin air, but they were crafted and curated by people – grown-ups, typically. When I was told to write my first short story in the second grade that had a requirement of being a minimum of half a page long, typed and double spaced, I couldn’t stop writing mine and it wound up being 14 pages…single spaced.
In childhood, we’re so innocent and free. We don’t understand the rules of society or the structures, laws, and criticisms that come with living in this world. As we grow older and become adults, we’re questioned far more for the decisions we make, especially if that decision is to live a creative life. So in that mindset of being the truest version of myself that was the least bit tainted by the world around me, I decided that I was going to be an author.
It was the year I started writing consistently in my journals, and not just the ones I was told to write in at school. I fell in love with stationary aisles and the feel of a bound book filled with an array of blank pages. I could do whatever I wanted with them. Sometimes I played with colours. I switched from writing horizontally to diagonal. I cut out pictures in magazines and pasted them inside, using those as guides to write stories. I wrote fiction and I wrote about my life, both of which I still do to this day.
There have been periods that I have left my words. That I just couldn’t bare the notion of staring at a blank page because it no longer felt like an open field where my ideas could live inside of. Sometimes, it felt like a burden. Overwhelming, even.
And then I found my way back, time and time again, and I was always met with open arms. There was a time when I tested people in the same fashion: leaving to see how much they really cared. I often found that they never came back to me, even when I was ready to have them. This selfish part of myself, I admit was toxic when it came to dealing with human beings. But with writing, it was different.
Writing didn’t care. It never had an ego attached to it. It was forgiving, loving, and kind. It allowed me to be whoever I needed to in the moment, and then it allowed for me to let it go. It waited patiently, sometimes egging me on to come take a seat and try it out again. Just get a small taste, that’s all. At times, I wasn’t ready to commit, and others, I just fell right back in love.
Being a highly sensitive person, the only way I have found that I can make sense of how I feel is to write it down. To dive so deep into a whirlpool of words and to leave my all-consuming thoughts behind. To string pieces together and craft them into something that makes someone feel. I could spend all my life doing that, and so far, I have.
I have never asked anything from writing other than to be there, which it has never failed to do. I never asked it to make me money. I never asked it to bring me joy. I never even asked it to be good. I just wanted it to want me back, and it did. It always did.
Everything in my life has at one point or another, felt unstable. People left and came back. Friendships ended and new ones formed. Relationships fled and people wavered. Everything was always uncertain, and often times I just wanted to be chosen and to choose back without any conditions or transactions. For a lot of my adolescent years, I craved love – finding it, holding on to it, capturing it, feeling it. I wanted it so bad, and I had it all along.
Writing has always chosen me back, even when I was conflicted or apprehensive. Even when I needed time and space. Even when I couldn’t give back to it the love that it gave me.
And to that, I owe it my everything.
To the words that strung me together time and time again, I will never take you for granted and I will always choose you first.