Writing shapes me
|So I didn't want to write this for all the usual, immature, insecure reasons. I want it to be perfect immediately. I want to be the only writer to not require revising my work. I'm afraid it won't be good enough, and then someone might read it and see how bad my writing is. Actually, "I'm afraid" sums up my reasons. Fear of failure is one of my big problems because I allow that fear to hold me back. If I can't get it right, why even try?
But I also know that getting this, whenever it turns out to be, out of my head, is necessary. The release of writing is a calming activity once I hit my groove. It's a release of pressure that builds up in my head. Suddenly, I dump everything on paper---well, virtual paper---and I recognize thoughts I didn't know I had. Conclusions I never consciously drew come out in words: an epiphany. So I need to write to teach myself.
That last sentence is an epiphany, one I just had as I wrote it out. I wonder how many things I've taught myself just by allowing myself the liberty of composing these missives to myself. Probably quite a bit. But if I learn from writing and grow in knowledge of myself, I can't remain static. I must change into another person, the person who can realize this not only in my head. I must act or stifle myself further.
As I write this, an old story from my life occurs to me: my ex-boyfriend's remark about epiphanies.I wouldn't call my ex a fount of wisdom, but I remember him saying that every time he experienced a change in his life he gained insight into himself. The bigger the change was, the more insight he got. When we broke up, he was unemployed and living at home while spending Friday and Saturday nights engaged in role playing games. He repeatedly told me the men in his family married late in life. I wanted someone with a little more ambition. Three or four weeks after I broke it off, he invited me to lunch. We went to a nicer restaurant and he told me about his new job. He had walked into a supermarket and his food service experience got him hired. He paid for lunch with money he'd earned and told me it was his treat. He even made a minor disparaging remark about one of his role playing buddies.
Before, we would have gone somewhere inexpensive to eat. He treated me to lunch on my birthday one year at a reasonably priced restaurant he knew I liked. He told me proudly, at least twice that he had a coupon for that place. He had previously been indifferent to finding employment, distributing resumes and attending job fairs without putting himself forward. Also, he didn't want me arguing with his friends or questioning their opinions. I felt shock. Who was this adult and where was my ex?
It's the epiphany. I broke up with him because our goals and desires were too different. In that brief time, he took stock of his life and made changes. I'm proud of him for that. When we saw each other again, the power of epiphany revealed itself, and has stuck with me since.
So, I guess this means I can be powerful. I'm more comfortable with that than I once was, and maybe that's all part of why I'm writing. Normally I'd have stopped several paragraphs ago; today I'm committed to writing for longer. Cutting myself off seems wasteful now and I regret not pushing through on earlier occasions. I know better now; writing is power and wisdom is strength. I realize I am capable of both these things, but only because I pushed on to this epiphany.