Writer's Lament

November 4, 2012
By ashleyanne225 BRONZE, Charlotte, North Carolina
ashleyanne225 BRONZE, Charlotte, North Carolina
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's not the length of life, but the depth of life." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

IF YOU REALLY want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is that my life is Red Light, Green Light. There is something distinctly chilling about stop and go — like your life is on hold and then suddenly it is rocketed into locomotion. While my life has never really fallen into smooth rhythm, it has always had one definitive purpose pushing me ever onward: writing. Through years of social speculation, dwindling peace of mind, and defending my sometimes-questionable merit, storytelling has always been fervently with me, a sort of solace from this absolutely, undeniably, curious world we live in. Sometimes, I’ll find myself strewn across my pungently grassy front lawn, groaning indistinguishable nonsense about a story I’m widdling away at — or perhaps laying face-down on the kitchen floor, pen and paper flung around me, my mother’s eyes popping in concern. Regardless of the state in which I’m found, it always seems to come back to writing.

Between speculating revenge against my eager bullies, and STILL sucking my thumb, I knocked out a tooth in kindergarten. I suppose the way in which most people react to my lament of The-Metal-Balance-Beam-And-The-Tooth-I-Never-Found-Incident is quite humorous; however, I like to remind those horrified faces, pleading for a subject change, that it is much WORSE to be the Tooth-Loser than the Lament-Listener. I like to think that my love for pen and paper can often stem back to such things — there is something about writing, storytelling, that I just feel.

That isn’t to say that I don’t hit massive, crushing roadblocks in writing, however. It’s like I said: stop and go. Red Light, Green Light. Yet, unlike most aspects of my life that can be so easily deterred by my lack of confidence or those nasty roadblocks — my writing, while constantly thwarted by what I believe is some angry force determined to squash any small talent out of me, has always remained constant. With each flaw in the plan, I take a great gulp of air in my lungs and think happy-thoughts, because if there is one thing in my life that I truly cannot be myself without, it’s writing.

Sometimes I think my life flows on two different frequencies: insecure, youngest child, average student me, and writer me — the one who likes to randomly pop up and surprise people. And while so many wonderfully trivial moments have defined my regular self, I can only think of two times in which my writing self has truly been altered…both by two different people, both in one year. The sky-rocket forward came first, naturally: I was at the start of my junior year, taking my deep, practiced breaths after making the decision to let my greatest passion be known to my entire AP English class, on Introduction Day. I felt significantly miniscule compared to my confident classmates — which is saying a great deal, seeing as I am roughly five feet and eight inches tall. When it came my turn, I let out the words in one enormous breath, turning radish red before I was even done with my name, much less the word ‘writing.’ Every single detail of the moments following this are engraved in my mind with such accuracy, it’s almost frightening. The way my teacher’s eyes lit up with eager encouragement, asking in genuine tones what I liked to write about, was the purist bit of happiness I have ever felt about my writing. There is something about someone you hardly know believing in you, that truly drives confidence throughout your art. Humanity feels a little more real after that.

However, just like Red Light, Green Light, my confidence can be easily, painfully shattered in moments. It was not until seven months later that my world was turned upside down in what could not have been more than a two minute conversation. When I listened to the words that ultimately have been my greatest barrier in writing — the most jagged rock in my path, I was nothing less than catatonic for days. Hearing that your greatest passion is less-than-average by someone you deeply, purely respect is a wicked thing. And although I have ultimately let it light fire to my fuel, driving me ever onward, the pain that rang within me that day will always be there, in some way.

There really is no easier way to put it — I am a seventeen-year-old girl with a wildly eccentric mind and a passion for writing. My life, like many intersections, consists of stop and go. I’m not always the most interesting person, but if there is one thing that I am, it’s a writer. Even if my world one day dissolves before me, the fire in my mind will always burn there, and I will constantly fight for what I know is possible. So long as I have my mind, I will be me — I will have my dream.

Red Light, Green Light will only drive me forward.

The author's comments:
The first sentence of this piece was inspired by the opening line in THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J. D. Salinger.

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