… or painting or playing music or applying for that job or whatever it is you need to keep doing. For me, my thing is to keep writing. I go through waves of writing a ton and then not writing so much, and each time the writing wave comes again, I always regret those few months I stopped writing.
The thing is, I used to only write when I was sad. I have stacks and stacks of journals filled with my thoughts from the time I could hold a pen until now. I’d have a bad day and instead of wanting to hang out with friends all I’d want to do is go home and write. Why is it that sad times leave you filled with so many emotions but happy times don’t give you that same emotional drive? I'd write when I moved to a new city and was lonely, but once I met a solid group of friends, I'd abandon my journal. Or I’d write when I had just gone through a break up but then as the months passed and things started to feel good again, and perhaps I’d start dating someone new, I’d stop writing. It’s almost like happiness is a drug. I’d be so drugged up on happiness, and so distracted in happiness, that I’d forget to spend introvert time and do some deep soul searching. Is my happiness right now a quick fix, or is it rooted in something deeper and lasting?
A few years ago I went through a particularly hard time, where everything seemed to hit all at once, and sure enough, the writing bug struck. There’s something in sadness where you’re able to find bits of inspiration a lot easier than when things are happy. Is it that happiness creates tunnel vision, blocking out all new and exciting challenges? I’m not really sure, I just know that when sadness strikes, it’s perhaps easier to grasp onto almost anything because almost anything often feels a lot better than sadness. As so I wrote and I wrote and I wrote myself out of my pit of sadness and I challenged myself to keep writing. How did I do that? I traveled. I traveled and then I moved to New York and then I kept putting myself in new experiences so that I wouldn’t stop writing or being inspired. And then I found myself writing while I was happy, and not just sad. I started dating my boyfriend (err, fiancé, but I’m not used to this word yet) and even then I kept writing. It makes me so happy that these past few years of happiness I now have documented. I want to look back and read the happy times, not just the sad times.
But I have to thank you. You, being, whomever is really reading this. Even now, I sometimes find myself too distracted by happiness to write, but every now and then a friend or even a stranger emails me and tells me to keep writing. I can’t tell you enough how encouraging these emails are. I know I’ve emailed strangers telling them that their work and vulnerability inspired me and to never give up what they are doing. These emails of encouragement have left me feeling vulnerable, too. Most of the time when I send those emails I feel like I'm throwing a baseball into a field full of other baseballs, where I just hope they actually read mine. I’m not comparing baseballs to fame or a lot of emails, but rather life being so busy that you really don’t have any idea if they’ll stop and take the time to read your email or not. All this to be said, thank you. I don’t need or want or expect a lot of emails, but the few of you who do write and tell me to keep writing, these emails mean so much to me. I feel bad because a lot of times I don’t write back. The reason is because these emails leave me SO inspired and grateful that I find my thoughts become a tornado of things I want to say and express. I find myself wanting to respond to every single sentence that you write. I find myself thinking of exactly what I’m going to say for hours and hours and then hours go by and life gets busy again and suddenly days have passed, weeks and even months. I’ll think about the words someone wrote me, words of a trip they’re going on or a new creative field they’re exploring, and wonder how that it is going. For the ones who write to me and I don't write back to, your baseball has been caught and is so cherished, I'm just trying to figure out how to throw the ball back.
Usually the ones who write to me are writers themselves. Writers are generally the readers, and I’ll find myself lost in their own blog for hours, inspired by their words and thoughts. I'll find pieces of myself laid out in their own words. I guess that’s what I love about writing. As hard and vulnerable as it is to write and publicly post these thoughts, I know that by doing so, maybe someone will find a piece of themselves they had forgotten about through the words that I write. Maybe they’ll discover a new part of their soul and it will awaken again. Maybe bits of me are bits of you. Because I know when I read bits of strangers’ lives on the internet who write and who write and who write, I find bits of me. I find bits of me scattered through their words and mixed with someone else’s too. And it reminds me of who I am again.
So please, keep writing. Keep writing, and I’ll keep writing, too.