As long as I can remember, I’ve been a writer. In third grade, sometimes my friends and I would ask to go out to the hall during story time after recess. Instead of hearing other people’s stories, we wanted to write our own. We wrote these stories in my Garfield notebook. They were about our school mascot, E the Eagle. We imagined he went inside the Internet and met a hologram named Holly the Hologram. I don’t remember much beyond that, but it shows me how long storytelling has been a part of my life.
Even before that, one of my best friends and I would pass back and forth a paper yellow folder filled with pages and pages of handwritten stories about a talking dog named Ripper. On white computer paper, we made up the adventures of Ripper the talking dog and his two teenage female companions. We imagined we would play them in the movie version.
I wish I still had those pages, even if just to see what our wild little imaginations could dream up. It’s crazy how much we lose our imaginations as we get older. I always protested. I said it would never happen to me. I chose a creative field, therefore, I should get to keep mine. Right?
I never dreamed how wrong I could be. I wouldn’t say I don’t have an imagination; we all do to some degree. But it is nothing like that of a child. We use phrases like “thinking outside the box.” Kids — they aren’t thinking about how to think outside the box. They are already five steps ahead, using the box as a portal to another universe. One filled with adventures that are now beyond our wildest dreams. They’re innocent, but also naive to the world. And for once, that’s a good thing. They don’t have the biases — we like to call wisdom — of living. They haven’t learned logic or reason. And to me, that is a beautiful thing.
I can’t explain why I started writing. The words pour out of me. The floodgates opened the moment my number two pencil touched the page for the first time. I get little flashbacks to my earliest memories of writing — like how I got the word “of” wrong on a spelling test in first grade. I remember the red dash next to the “ov.” I remember the story I wrote about journeying through Candyland in third grade. And I remember writing my AP Comp essay my junior year about how I wanted to help people through my words — giving myself the pen name Dr. Wordsmith.
The most valuable thing I’ve learned through writing is how important is for me to keep writing. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life. We’re going and going and going — until don’t know where we’re going anymore. Writing grounds me. It heals me. Like I said, I hope that my words can be healing for other people, too.
I’ve had people message me telling me how much they related to something I wrote. Others tell me that they actually laughed out loud or had to share my words with someone else. To me, that’s the best feeling in the entire world.