I discovered my love of writing when I was 13 years old at summer camp. Un-edited streams of consciousness poured onto the multi-colored stationary that my grandmother had given me before I left. I wrote to everyone I could think of, never pausing the race between my heart and hand to consider grammar or my recipients’ reactions.
When I got home, everyone told me it was if they had spent the summer with me. They all hated the bully on the upper bunk, felt my pain when I lost the big race, and couldn’t wait to hear about the epic ending with my summer crush.
It wasn’t until years later when I fell in true love, that I found myself without words for the first time. I stumbled between vulnerability and pride, revealing and retracting. I wrote many letters that screamed my truths, but they were too potent for an unbearable ending and were left un-sent.
The generosity and tone of my writing fluctuated based on the freedom of expression I felt at various points in my life. It was always easiest to get in touch with that 13-yr old, bright-eyed and wondrous girl when I was traveling, creating, or in love.
That voice became bounded and less playful when I imagined myself writing to an audience with judging eyes. It felt as if I was preparing to sing from the most pure and wild places inside of me, and the mere thought of rejection had me running off stage.
It would take me an hour to write one paragraph and when I looked back, it was always the first version that I liked the most. I just couldn’t trust that everyone else would feel the same.
I began to carefully choose my audiences and words, both in my writing and in my life. I hungered for company and relationships that allowed me to feel both free and safe … rarely were they one in the same.
The lonely holes in-between had me hunger for experiences that allowed me to touch, taste, and feel the places where I felt most alive, and most ME. And with each heartbreak or success, I became less tolerant of limiting spaces and relationships.
I became more willing to endure the discomfort of change, so I could get closer to the quality of life and experience of love that conceivably existed.
And now as I write, I do so believing that my words will land with an audience that is also willing to touch, taste, feel and CREATE what is possible for them.
So forgive me in advance for any grammatical errors or disregard of judgments … I’m just here for love.