So I finally caved. I've thought about starting a blog off and on for years now, kept a periodic Livejournal for a while, and have been journaling since I was about 7 years old. I've always had a reason why I wouldn't start a blog, namely "nobody wants to read my writing. Why would anybody want to read my writing?" Or "I don't really have anything to say." Or "I'm too busy." I guess we all have our hangups, and the busy excuse is valid, but I'm happy to say that I am over the other two. The past couple months have taught me that I have A LOT to say, damnit, and people are just gonna have to listen. So hold on people...here I come.
And so, the next big step is to venture out into the blogosphere and put my writing out there. It feels a little like tossing one of those "helicopter" seed pods from the maple tree out into the wind. Who knows where it's going to go, where it's going to land? It's just spinning, spinning, spinning, and potentially holding something big and beautiful.
I love writing. As I said, I've been keeping a journal since I was around 7. I started out with an "American Girl" journal that had prompts on some pages, and small, dated boxes on others. There wasn't much room for creativity, so my entries primarily consisted of things like "Little sisters are so annoying! J called me "possum breath" and I called her a "skunk tail" and she told Mommy and Mommy told me to be nice! Ugh!" The prompted questions weren't much better. I answered the question "What is the nicest thing your mother has ever done for you?" with "She bought me 'My Magic Tea Party!!!!'" I think I played with that set exactly twice before the cups stopped changing colors and I went back to using the dirt-caked spoons, plastic buckets with broken handles, and rusted-out pots in the treehouse. They made better tea anyway.
I kept at it, though, and kept a journal regularly until my first year of graduate school when it became practically illegal to use the words "writing" and "fun" in the same sentence. Luckily, I've got this inner rebel spirit that is dying to come out now and just doesn't care if the dissertation is finished or not; I have something to say, and it's going to be said NOW. I've been writing for myself again, but have wanted to share it. I want people to see it and to hear it, because I am finally comfortable with the fact that I have something to say. I finally realized in a deeper way that my words can indeed move people. My words can change people. My words can spark thoughts and conversations in me and in someone else. My words may even be able to make a difference. Recognizing that I have that power, and seeing that power as beautiful and wonderful, makes me feel like I have come home. Like I can fall into myself and inhabit my body and my mind in ways that I haven't allowed myself to before. Allowing myself to see that my words have value, and that I can connect deeply to myself and others through the written word gives me chills. It is the most powerful gift I could possibly give myself.
I have a professor from undergrad that I have recently been in contact with again. He is someone I have shared my writing with, and is also someone who just really understands and feels the importance of words and of writing the way I feel it and know it. He said recently in an email "your desire to move to voice and writing are powerful; and to me they are also lovely--lovely in the sense of being love-full, because they are so much about clarity, and truth, and resistance, and anger, and accountability; and about justice and caring for the world by calling out the injustice and cruelty in the world."
That is why I write. I write because I am love-full and because I am angry. Because I am sad and disillusioned, and because I am joyful and alive. I write to come as close to saying the truth as I possibly can, and I write to expose the places where the truth is hidden. I write to hold myself and others accountable for what they do in this world, to this world, to others, to themselves. I write because I get tired and overwhelmed by the injustices and the cruelty, and writing is the only way I know to call out those injustices in ways that can be heard. I write to connect to people in ways that encourage heart connections that don't necessarily get tapped by daily life. For a while, I didn't write--or did write and didn't see it as truly worthwhile. But then, life twisted and turned and changed and I HAD to write. I no longer have a choice. I cannot say that things happen for a reason, but I know that I must write. My writing is a form of truth and a way of making meaning. I write because of the connections it makes, because of the way it connects me to life, to people, and to myself. I write because I love.