Shortly after I began posting to this site, gradually putting more and more of my artwork up and writing my blog, I noticed a strange sensation starting to come over me; very pleasant, expansive, but also a bit foreign. I could compare the feeling to having a heavy wool blanket gradually lifted away after years of not even knowing it was there, covering and suffocating me slowly. Today I finally realized I could name that new sensation: joyous relief. I could breathe again!
I had no idea how much I missed writing. And for someone who considers herself a pretty self-aware person, it was kind of horrifying to realize. What, me miss that about myself? No way! But I did. I missed it big time.
I used to write a lot. Back in grade school I started writing poems and stories that were way beyond my years, according to my English teacher. My mind was full of such fantastic stuff then. I kept writing through my traumatic teen years and all the hormones that came with them, which probably saved my life, literally, a time or two. My first time through college I became an English major, minoring in creative writing. Really useful, I recall thinking.
The degree did get me my first ‘real’ job, however, which eventually led to becoming a copy editor and copywriter. Later I moved up and on into advertising and marketing, where I also got to take pictures – Bonus! I was finally writing for a living (although most of the time to sell products I didn’t really believe in). Even after I changed careers and became a nurse, writing was still part of my job, this time taking on the guise of patient charting.
But I was rarely writing for myself anymore. Not for fun, or pleasure, or to express my ideas. I was writing for someone else instead, which sucked all the joy away. So I left writing behind. And that’s what no one tells you about going to school to do something you love or are really good at: Once it becomes your living, your job five days a week (or maybe more) with a paycheck involved, the fire, many times, just goes out. It could be years into a career or even just days, but at some point the love affair ends.
Or at least that’s what happened to me. Granted, I was fairly faithful with keeping a journal through the years, and hastily scribbled down poems every now and then. But I tended to write in small bursts, and then my pen wouldn’t touch the page again for months at a time (they slept in separate bedrooms). Too much of my energy was just spent writing in other places, for other reasons, to be truly enjoyable. Maybe that will happen with this blog, anything’s possible; but I doubt it.
Writing feels real again, meaningful, and just plain fun. Like it did when I was much younger,
not trying to get a good grade or market a product. Even when that product was myself and I was creating website copy for my own business a few years ago, writing just wasn’t the same. It wasn’t like this. And I hope that means something. I think it does. I think it means that I’m
finally in the right place, with the right purpose in mind: Not just to write for myself again, though that’s a significant part of it; but also to share that writing with others with no other intention involved. I think I’m falling in love with writing all over again, and maybe I’ll even marry him this time.
I've never really liked labels: I am this, I am that... But in the interest of introducing myself to the world, I can say that I am many things: nurse, writer, photographer, poet, painter, gardener, friend, armchair philosopher, counselor, nature lover, real-estate aficionado, movie buff, sometime yogi, and aspiring world-traveler. I think that's a pretty good list... for now. I want to become a bigger part of the vital, creative force I feel deeply at work in the world and connect with other people who want to do the same.