I started writing when I was 10 years old. I believed I was writing for the joy of it (I was). I had a couple of friends with whom we would email back and forth stories. Continuing stories. They would write a chapter, and I would write the next… and so on.
I would also write books on my own. Fictional stories. Always about young girls breaking their families’ confusing rules and roles. I, however, did not break the rules. I abided.
Then, I started playing cello. And a couple of years later, I started writing songs.
My family had secrets. Things that my parents believed they could fix eventually, so if we kept it hidden just a little bit longer no one would ever have to know how we had struggled. By inheritance, I became a keeper of those secrets. I couldn’t talk to my friends about it, but I could write a song about it. And write, I did.
Writing has always been about these two things for me:
- imagining a reality I deeply wanted but had no roadmap for.
- saying the truth that everyone else was too ashamed to talk about.
What I have come to realize over the years, is that if you* can imagine a different way of living for yourself, you can also have it– because you already do have it. You have it within yourself, and you will find the way to create it in a way that everyone else knows it for you, too. And maybe what is keeping you from this life you want is the shame. It is the worry or the fear of disappointing others. But in all likelihood– you’ve probably already disappointed them.
I think we think we are doing everyone a favor by keeping ourselves locked up within the prison of their expectations, but their expectations are also imprisoning them. You, by living the life that sets you free, can also set everyone else free, too.
*and by you- I mean me.