“I promise you.” That’s what people tell me when I ask if they are going to buy the book that they so often ask me to write. I took as many English classes as I possibly could when I was in high school, and I wrote a little back then, but my English teacher never gave me much recognition as a writer. I still worship the ground he walks on, and he is one of the two teachers in my life that truly changed my life’s trajectory. I have even sent him some of my writing since then, and I met him for coffee the last time I visited my hometown. I was hoping for that Hallmark movie moment where he would tell me that he always knew I would reach great heights and I would always excel as a free thinking artist and writer. Yeah, that didn’t happen. He was critical of my writing and even talked the entire time about a fellow student who is now published and has a successful television show regarding his writing. And for whatever reason, that is daunting to me. Not the student who is a successful writer – I am truly happy for that guy. It’s daunting to me to not have the affirmation of my old teacher. The one I adore. The one I have looked up to my entire life and still place on a pedestal even though I am a grown adult. I have dozens of other people practically begging me to write a book. I would go so far as to say that they would even devour it if I wrote it (or so they say), although, they might be the only ones. But without the affirmation of my old high school English teacher, I still feel intimidated. As if I can’t possibly be taken seriously as a writer. I know this thought process is irrational. Still, it exists. You know that critical voice. It’s in your head too. It’s the one who always tells you that you aren’t good enough.
The book might happen someday. Even if I just write it for myself it is always a thought in the back of my mind and a project that I contemplate regularly. In the meantime though, I have decided to start this blog. For many years I have written in journals, for small newsletters, completed notebooks, taken notes on my phone, or demolished a stack of napkins with random thoughts while sitting in an arbitrary coffee shop. I’ve written for teachers, for others, for myself, and for God. I have a seemingly endless supply of material to share with you, and an everlasting pool of opinions to project even if you don’t want to hear them. I have things to say! But, I sat here today, deciding what to write for all of you, I couldn’t come up with a single theme. So I decided to be honest and write to you about not knowing what to write about. I’m sure it happens to all writers. Every last one. And this blog will have content concerning many things, mainly events about my crazy life, but I want you to know that I may occasionally not know what to share with you.
My hope is that you interact with me. That you help me become a better writer, a better person, and an inspiration to all of you. More than that, I hope you all say what it takes to help me persevere through the hard times of living this life. It’s not always easy to go against the grain. I sometimes wish that my life would be could just be “normal” and that I could be happy with the life so many other people seem to live. I think about living a regulated life and how much happier that would probably make my family and how much “easier” things would be. These moments are rare, but they do exist. I don’t want that life. I tried it already, for entirely too many years. I usually come out of my fantasy coma fairly quickly when I realize how unhappy I was living that life, and when I remember that this sort of life is not what I am meant to live. 8-5 Monday through Friday doesn’t work for everybody, and I am definitely one of those everybody. Please be with me and encourage me on those rough days. If you feel that I have something to share that you would like to hear, that you might benefit from, or that might inspire you, please let me know. Please feel comfortable approaching me with questions or ideas.
I don’t have affirmation from my teacher, but that voice inside my head is telling me that I’m good enough to start this blog. Maybe it will even experience some success, whatever that might look like. Maybe someday I will even write that book. But in the meantime, I’m just out here trying to be true to what is in my heart. Listening to the silent pull of the universe and where it says I am supposed to travel to next. I try to answer the call of what it’s telling me to experience.
Please inspire me to continue to follow my dreams, and I will do my absolute best to inspire you to live your best life as well. That, my friends, I promise you. I truly do.
Today I am grateful for the gift of language, the words that I am privileged to know, the friends that inspire me, the search for an authentic life, all my notes, my high school teacher whom I still adore, and for the perseverance to continue to build my own self confidence.