Who Am I?

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I have made an astonishing discovery about myself. It is something that I’ve known ever since I was able to print a word on a piece of paper and realize that a noun and a verb constitute a meaningful sentence, creating a story. This was in the first grade at Winnona Park School. I haven’t thought much about this until a new friend of mine began asking me questions about my life a few days ago and about this particular aspect of it. He opened up the doors of my past, revealing something that I had really never considered or thought much about until our conversation released my wellspring of memories.

I am a writer. Yes, I am, indeed, a writer. My little story in the first grade was one of a Tulip Poplar tree that stood near the water fountain on the playground of my school. I followed the tree through the four seasons in very simple sentences that only a first grader could write. This began my love of putting words together into meaningful and descriptive combinations to paint pictures, not with crayons or water-colors, but with words. I went from writing about Tulip trees to writing a simple play that my friend, Marcia, and I acted out in the bedroom of my home, with my mother as a featured actor, and the neighborhood stay-at-home-wives as our audience. I also remember Santa Claus leaving a diary in my stocking almost every year, the kind with the lock so that nobody could read my most private thoughts. Santa knew I was a writer long before I did!

My writing as a young person consisted of essays, school reports, and simple poetry. I remember learning to create a limerick, and later haiku. What fun it was to put words together to evoke an emotion, create a landscape, or tell a story. I also learned about research and developing a hypothesis and thesis statement, leading to hours of delving into books and other sources of knowledge to put together term papers for school. I loved every minute of it, and took great pride in my finished works.

I have written in diary books, journals, on legal pads, deposit slips, napkins, just about anything made of paper that was available to me when a thought or idea struck. I have been writing something about something all my life.

What is interesting to me today is that the light bulb finally illuminated above my head that I am not simply a person who loves to write, but I am a writer.  This is who I am. I told a friend jokingly one time, “I am; therefore I write.” It is something that dwells in me and is me.  It is not simply something that I enjoy doing, but it is who I am. I have done many things in my life to earn a living – I have been an orthodontic technician, a teacher, a librarian, a tutor, a meeting planner, an association executive, and an office manager. All of these are things I have done, but do not fully describe who I am.

Writing has literally saved my life. Writing has given me direction. It has broadened my horizons. Writing has made me very happy and fulfilled and has also brought tears of anguish and pain. It is something that I not only love to do, but is something that I have to do. It is my bliss. It is my joy.

I may not ever write a best-seller, or have my works published in magazines or periodicals. This is not important to me. My joy is simply in writing and hoping that somewhere, someone may read what I have to say, and that it will touch a heartstring, evoke a memory, bring forth a chuckle, or soothe a troubled spirit.

I am a writer.

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