3/9/15

that time i thought i wanted to be a writer


There was a time when, if you had asked me what I wanted to be, I would have said quite simply and without hesitation, "A writer."

That day has past because, quite frankly, my mind crumbles when my day is spent at a desk alone straining to find that perfect combination of syllables that says something---anything---profound about something---anything. Because dammit I need people and I wasn't made for long periods of time where my closest companion is the keyboard in front of me. And I applaud the people who love the stillness, live for the day after day of putting story down on paper but I don't think I can do that every day for the rest of my life.

But I digress.

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When I was thirteen I got my first guitar. It was my Papa's and it had spent many years playing old Gospel hymns, and it was cheap, but it sounded good.

And I wrote songs. Wrote so many of them. Locked away in my room, playing the same six chords over and over. Singing the same songs, about that same boy. Because I was thirteen. And it was my first guitar.


And, years later, when that guitar was stowed away under my bed, and that boy is hidden in some history book in the library of my life, I wrote a piece for a professor that was a story about my life. And in this piece I wrote about the two things that had been constant throughout: God and writing.

And some days, quite honestly, writing felt more constant than God did. Because you can't see God on a page. You can't read him cover to cover. You can't get smudges of him on your hand because he isn't ink. He is God.

And I see now more than I ever have how constant God was in all that time. But some days it still gets foggy.

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When Oscar Wilde was imprisoned paper and pen were taken away from him. And that is when most believe his ending truly began.

And that's how writing feels to me. It always has. Will it always be?

I find life in the writing. Beauty in the writing. It is the thing I would do even if no one else knew about it, read the words. It is as much a part of me as my arms. And I can't imagine if it were taken away.

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I don't want to be a writer.

And the reasons are a spider web I get tangled in. But mainly the reason is this: I don't, can't, be summed up in a word. No one can. Because we are not just Savannah, the writer. Or John, the plumber. Or Michelle, the nurse. Or Hannah, the stay at home mom.

We are dreamers, thinkers, procrastinators, believers in good coffee and that flowers can fix most fights and haters of indie films because I just want some mainstream flick to laugh at.

We have reasons. Reasons for why we can't commit, why we want to move away, why we believe in God, or why we don't.

And these reasons shape our opinions and isn't it crazy that our opinions can vary so much? Because I love eggs over easy, but you only take yours scrambled. And I love sunny days, but you live for the winter.

And when I look at all that makes us who we are I realize that what you do is so insignificant compared to who you are. What makes you laugh. What gives you motivation. What makes you angry.

We can't be summed up, calculated, figured out. We are complicated and complex.

Because we are people. And people are not math problems. They are poetry.


And so I will not ask you what you do, what you want to do, what your day job is. I will ask you tell me a joke. I will ask you to tell me your deepest fears. I will ask you what you worry about the most, and what you think life is all about.

I will ask you who you are. Not what you do. Because the two are not synonymous.




[This post was brought to you by a college kid who doesn't know how to answer the question "what will you be doing after graduation?" Thanks for the support.]