Thursday, March 5, 2015

What I Learned From Not Writing for Years

When I look back and imagine my life how it is now without writing in it, I get a small pain in my stomach at the idea that I went so long without it. People have ups and downs in their lives, it's just a fact of life, but I let it change me when I was young. If I think too hard about the past and what I was missing by not writing, it makes me wish that I'd had someone around at the time to stomp on my toe and ask me what in the world I was doing by not following my heart.

I needed a very loud person with a megaphone to shout at me and tell me that I was wasting my time with all the other crap I thought I was good at. (Trust me, I have a lot of different hobbies and skills).

This reality might sound painful to some, but I really did need a little pain to teach me what I'd left behind because of influences by others. I made the mistake that a creative person should never make: I let people who claimed to care about me into my world and they stomped on my dreams (instead of my toes) before I even got them out of the wood shed. I learned that not only friends, but family, can deter you from your goals if you let them dictate your thoughts and choices. This is what kills true freedom. The one's that say they love you but stab you with a shiv in the kidney when they see you're not what they wanted you to be. Expectations are a blessing and a curse, but your expectations of yourself are always more important than what others try to spew at you with slime coated spit.

As a young woman, I thought I was a revolutionary. I broke out from the prison that I called home where I suffered intense emotional abuse and a religiously conservative family that didn't appreciate my non-conservative thoughts and choices. I'm not just talking about the kind of emotional abuse where someone bullies you a little bit and you cry for a cookie till you feel better, I mean the kind of emotional abuse that tears you up inside and makes you want to crawl into a hole and never return for air. Little did I know, back then it was to be the fuel that fired my determination at a successful life despite not having support of a caring family behind me. A family that thought there was something wrong with me because I didn't think like they did. 

What I want to say to those that are struggling at this very minute to find their voice among an abusive home life and family that might not agree with your dreams: Do not give up on what it is that drives you to write, create, or dance. If there is one thing I learned from dropping writing when I was a teenager because I thought I was a failure to those who loved me, it's that one should never let another take the pen, brush, or dancing shoes from their hands. If they do, take it back. Take it back and prove to them and yourself that you're more than what they think you are. Never give up.

So, for those who stumble across this blog or have come here because I wanted to share my life with you: This is what I've learned and I'm just now getting back on track after more than a decade of thinking writing wasn't in my future. I say screw that noise. Screw it sideways with a lollipop stick. I have better plans and I'm not going to let the demons of my past stand in my way. 

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