W is for Words

Words come slowly sometimes, and sometimes you have to let that happen. I can’t expect myself to crank out words on demand. They will come to me when they’re ready. Sometimes you can’t demand them to come two weeks before the deadline, and sometimes you have to wait until the night before your writing assignment is due to realize what you have meant to say all along.

Words come when they need to, often with a deep pounding of my heart, a tension in my shoulders, and a chill that run from my lungs to my mouth. My body steadies as my fingers race across the keyboard, desperate to record the words on the page before they run out or run away.

The real, true, good words that I need to come out of me will always come. But, not always (or ever!) right away. They come after I wrestle with others words that I force to come out of me. They come after I’ve sat through this struggle.

And, when the words come, they flow. Like an overflowing lava pit of feelings and insight. Like the swift overflow of tears that come upon you after you watch a sweet, sweet video of reunion and love. These words come quickly and swiftly and it’s a joy to be a writer in these moments.

It’s a gift to be a writer in these moments.

It’s a privilege to be a writer in these moments.

I never knew myself to be a writer until I realized that these moments come. They always come. I will them to come and they don’t. I pray for them to come, and they don’t. At least, not right away.

But, eventually, they do come. And all is okay. And the struggle was worth it. And posting something that I didn’t love writing or reading was worth it. Because the worth comes from not giving up. The worth comes from knowing that my best work is always ahead of me and that the work I’m doing today is today’s only chance of doing work.

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S is for Start

You have to start somewhere, right? In this February series, I decided that I just needed to begin my blog. The fact of the matter, and this is something I’m been recently realizing about myself is this: I have a lot of dreams. I have a lot of passions and interests. I’m curious about a lot of things.

I’m most myself as a writer, I’m realizing. I thrived as a college student, particularly one that was enrolled in classes that required writing papers. The reason I ended up loving my college courses is because they required me to write. A lot. And although I didn’t realize it at the time, my ability to put words to paper. To fly my fingers across the keyboard and produce coherent thoughts.

This ability is more than just a convenient skill to have. This ability is one that makes me come alive. I got most excited about being a teacher when I began to write about it. I became most alive to myself when I was connecting through my writing. I could write for forever.

My parents always told me that I had the gift of “blah blah blah.” They told me that I had a way with words, and would even ask me to help them reword things they were writing themselves. I never had any issues being a writer. Yet, I never saw myself as a writer.

Nowhere in my writerly life did someone come to me and call me a writer. Therefore, as my adult interests have begun to expand and my experience as a teenage Xanga blogger resurfaced, I never dared call myself a writer.

As my passions have shifted and are coming out in different forms, it has taken a lot of bravery and mind tricks to finally call myself a writer. I am a writer because I write. And, just as I tell my 10 year old students, they are each writers because they write (or because I make them write, muahaha.) They may not believe me today or even this year. But, I want to gift them with this identity that I never dreamed to have.

Today, I write as a writer who is honing their voice. I don’t have a niche. I don’t have a focus. I am exploring. I am taking on different identities and trying out different topics. I don’t know what kind of writer I will become. But, I do know that I am indeed, a writer.

This is my start of writing more. Of publishing my writing even though it’s scary. Of not hoarding drafts upon drafts on my WordPress account or Google drive. Of sharing the writing that I have that is ever so personal and close to me.

The best way to become a writer is to start. And, the best way to find out the kind of writer I am, is to start.

So, here is my start.

What do you need to start?

R is for Risk

We all have an idea of what we want our lives to look like. A creative job that you love, an insta-worthy relationship that all your friends swoon over, a fixer upper styled house, getting paid to go on vacation…the list goes on. But, what happens when you’ve arrived (and even survived), and things are not what you thought they would be? In particular, you are not who you thought you would be.

I’m learning that my dreams and passions are allowed to look differently than what I thought they would be. My worth as a human being is not found in what I do; but, what I do shapes who I am becoming. And, because of that, I have to do what it is that I want to become.

And you know what?

It’s okay try something new.

It’s okay to change your mind, but not change who you are deep down.

It’s okay to want one thing for a certain period of time, and to want something else for the next.

It’s okay to risk big and fail big in front of other people.

It’s okay to drop the expectations that everyone had for you and your career, in pursuit of something that is unknown, and that may or may not bring you the joy you wish it to.

And, it’s okay to be wrong, but to keep trying to find that joy anyway.

It’s all okay.

In realizing this, I find myself looking out into endless possibilities. But, there is one dream that I never considered. And, there’s one talent that I’ve neglected. And it is this one that you are reading right now. Written words.

Who dreams of becoming a writer? Not any college student who dreams of “making a living.” Was becoming a writer even on any of those career tests when I was a kid? Did I even know real life people could actually be a writer?

I had no clue! Yet, writing has been a perpetual escape in each of my life stages. From childhood, to adolescence, to college student life, to early adulthood – I’ve always taken comfort and found power in the words that I wrote.

My voice has always come out best on paper. Thoughts that I never knew I had could flow from my pen or through my keyboard in ways that I could never verbally process. There is something to this love of words, and the beautiful process that is writing. There is something about writing on paper versus speaking words that gives me much more calm, comfort, security, and power.

But, could writing actually be a real calling? A real job? A real career? Like, for real? I know that it can be and is for many other writers. I’m not sure what I want my passion for writing to look like in the coming weeks, months, or years.

But, I do know that it starts with taking small risks, then bigger ones, then even bigger ones. It starts by putting myself out there, for interpretation and misunderstanding. It starts by building with one brick at a time. It starts with one word at a time.

Here are mine.