You know, sometimes I genuinely forget how long it’s been since I started writing. Unlike other writers though, I didn’t start writing the moment I understood how the alphabet worked or how to properly hold a pencil. I literally had an epiphany, one that happened at a hospital room (my little brother had stomach pains) and urged on by an old lady’s wise words (my grandma). Really, it was quite a dramatic moment now that I look back on it.
I can still remember the exact day – well, not exact day because I don’t recall the month or date that it happened – er, moment that it happened, that I realized that I wanted and needed to write. It was seven years ago, I was in my third year of high school and I was miserable. Not the kind of miserable that had a specific reason – I was a fairly average student from a middle-class family, I was immensely lucky compared to other kids my age – but the kind that just didn’t know why the misery and the profound sense of loneliness kept haunting me. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that I had simply stored too much of my thoughts in my tiny, little head and just assumed that I was doing something wrong. Or not doing something at all, which was the case.
My little brother had had recurring stomach pains for weeks so my parents decided to get him checked in at the hospital. My relatives visited us at the hospital, including my grandmother, the one that really liked giving her opinions. I don’t remember her exact words or what had brought on those words in the first place, but at some point she talked (at great length) about people who did nothing with their lives, people who just went with things and never contributed anything to society. It was basically a sermon, grandma style.
Fourteen-year-old me felt like my grandmother was talking about me and I had never felt so ashamed. So I perused some old magazines in the hospital room and felt envious at the people featured in the magazines (some hoity-toity doctors who did a thing) and, surprisingly, at the people who wrote the articles. Like in most stressful situations, I found myself fantasizing about being a person worthy of writing about in a magazine (maybe I’d also be a doctor one day who’d do an equally interesting thing). Then, when that fantasy got boring, I fantasized about writing articles for a magazine and was struck by how much I liked the idea. It seemed like such a great job, going to interesting places, meeting different people, then, after the day is done, parking myself at my writing desk and punching out some article for printing.
When we got home, I quickly planted myself in front of the computer and searched how to be a writer (or at least how to write). I was on fire that night. I was so incredibly motivated that I knew, just knew, that I had been meant to be a writer. Verbally communicating to people had always been (and still is) my biggest weakness, but I had always had a knack for words. My thoughts constantly drown me no matter what I did, I just never really thought about writing them down.
When I started writing then, I never stopped. I couldn’t. It was like realizing that I had been breathing wrong my entire life and had just found out how much I needed oxygen to live.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever be someone worth writing an article about in a magazine or newspaper or anything, but that’s fine. I’ll be the one doing the writing then.