When I was a little girl I had a messy platinum blonde bowl cut and I lived in a space jam t-shirt that never left my body. I’d strut around the house with my personality 8 sizes too big for my body on the hunt for a piece of paper and a pen. Once I found them I’d go sit on the step in front of my house. I’d sit there for hours, looking around me, blinking in my surroundings. And I’d write in illegible handwriting, horribly misspelling the words flying out of my pen and I’d spew out things that somewhat formed poems and stories and dis-conjointed thoughts.
I vividly recall my mom always telling me that being a writer could be a good profession for me, mostly due to the constant word vomit going on in my brain at any given second. She’d put her hands gently on my head and grin at me, almost like she was trying to silence the thoughts for a second.
I can distinctly remember the day I decided that I was a “writer”. I was in 1st grade. I was sad that day, I don't remember what brought it on, but I do remember writing about the moon and feeling peace. Now, almost 15 years later that same moon is tattooed on my wrist and a pen is still in my hand. Only now, instead of peace it gives me power. Which is exactly what writing is to me, power. It gives people the voice that they can’t find, or hear at least, and it allows them to scream without ever opening their mouth to speak. It has the ability to build from the ground up. It starts out broken and aching, stumbling out of you like you’re a house fire that it needed to escape from. We're that way too, building from the ground up.
In high school, I was sad. Just disgustingly sad. I have to blink really fast when I look back on that time, I can’t look at it for too long. I can’t look 16, 17, 18 year old me straight on because I fear every emotion will flood back. I was sad because the skin I was wearing constantly wanted to jump off of me and be on someone else, I never felt good enough to live in my own body, like I would wake up one morning and it would have abandoned me. I was sad because everyone else was wearing makeup and gossiping in the bathroom and I was sitting in the back of chemistry class writing poems as fast as I could so I didn’t have to hear the whispers around me. I’d write the first words that came to my mind, I’d make these stories out of my sadness. But the irony is, whenever I started writing a sad poem, it would end hopeful, content. Like my heart knew ahead of time the healing that was happening.
All of that to say, man alive, am I thankful for words. For holding me together, for pulling me apart one piece at a time, for throwing me across the country and making me go pick myself up. I am alive and I am real and I am smiling because of them.
Words have healed me, in every way that a person can be healed. I don’t want them to heal other people, I need them to. I need my words to be a step in the hopeful ending to their sad sad poem