Finding Myself Through My Writing

The wind blows, the tide ebbs, the sun rises and sets; all of these things are as natural to the harmony of the world as writing is to the harmony of my soul. Just as I breathe, I write. It is a natural instinct that I have adopted to deal with the complexities of life. It keeps me alive, it keeps me wondering, it keeps me dreaming, and it keeps me going. I am drawn to all the things that writing offers to me: its solidarity, its comfort, its creativity, its nonjudgement.

I can’t quite recall when writing became such a big part of my life or when I found its meditative properties. All I know is that it must have been quite some time ago because I can’t recall a time that I did not write. As a child I remember my favorite section of any store was not the toy section where my brother and cousins would run off to- it was the pen section. I was fascinated with pens. Pens in every color and blank, clean, unlined white paper: those were the only things that I needed. I still have vague memories of scribbling absolute nonsense and live the way it looked on that clean piece of paper. The way the letters came together fascinated me. I could barely understand what the words spelled, but ah, I loved the way they looked. The letters took on a life of their own, a life that I was too young to understand, but in time a life that I have made into my own.

I have never considered myself a good writer. My spelling is atrocious and my grammar usually makes no sense. Just as I love the way the words look, I love the way punctuation looks anywhere on the page. Yet this has never stopped my love for writing, nor has it deterred me from writing whatever my soul chooses. These are little obstacles that I never really paid attention to because they never mattered to me. I never wrote to please anyone except myself. I am my favorite and usually only audience, and to me my spelling, punctuation, and grammar does not matter.

But as my writing evolved and started to look more like something that I created instead of something I just randomly copied from a storybook, writing and words took on a whole new meaning. The meaning of words in conjunction with other words formed feelings and thoughts and memories. They could express everything that was captured in my heart and mind and it became the way that I see myself and the main way that I choose to express myself.

I have come to realize that it isn’t merely that I like to write; it is that I feel the need to write. Writing has become the outlet that lets the feelings of my soul flow out. When things come along in life that are too hard to deal with, I write. When things come along that I never want to forget, I write. Whenever my mind is full of wonder, I write. When I go back and read my previous writings, I can recall instances much more clearly.

This ability to recall crisp clear memories has mad ewriting a sort of time machine to me. It transports me back to times when life seemed impossible and makes me realize that I am much stronger than I ever give myself credit for. It allows me to call up every feeling and every memory in their entirety and complexity. Writing has tracked my progress toward reaching my dreams but most of all it has given me the inner guidance and strength that I need to contine on my journey toward my dreams. This is something that my mind could not do if I choose not to write. Writing has allowed my memories and feelings to live on forever; or, as Michael Butor once said, “Every word written is a victory against death.”

I do not think that I would be the person that I am today, or as motivated and understanding as I am, if it were not for the black leather bound book that has served as my motivator, counselor, and guide. Nor would I understand my life and experiences if I coose not to write. Author Ishmael Reed once said, “Writing has made me a better man. It has put me in contact with those fleeting moments with prove the existence.” I could not agree with him more.

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