Friday, June 1, 2012

It's been quite a while since I've written a post; I never anticipated that I would be away so long. But regardless of what I had anticipated, four months have passed since I have written a post at The Patch.

When I started this blog, it was for my photography; I didn’t know that my story couldn’t be told with pictures alone. As an introvert, I thought that I was somehow excluded from my belief is that everyone has a story, and we all want to be heard, seen and ultimately understood. But I was wrong and it’s this belief that motivated me to write.

I write to document my story. And yes, I write to be seen, heard and understood. Although for me, writing is more than just being seen, heard, or understood. Writing is more than just an expression of my thoughts. Writing helps me to clarify my feelings - to understand my life in a richer way than thinking, talking or even capturing images does.

I didn’t start out to become a writer and I never dreamed that I would be known among my family and friends as one. I had been given this title, and like a girl trying on her mother’s dresses it fell off my shoulders - it was too big. A writer. How could I possibly be a writer? Writers’ ideas flow freely and their fingers dance over the keyboard. Writers don’t have issues with spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Writers don’t feel as though they are naked holding a big “look at me” signs every time they publish a post. But most importantly, the reason the dress was too big, why the title didn’t fit was because I believed that writers have graduated high school. I hadn‘t.

So, four months ago, I decided to do something about that. I signed up at the local adult high school. I needed four credits to graduate and one of them had to be English. When I drove home after my first meeting with the guidance councillor I was able to fight back the tears, but as soon as I pulled my mini van in the driveway the meltdown began. And I am not talking about one or two pretty tears that gracefully roll down your cheek. No, my cry that morning had both tears and snot rolling down my face; it was messy. I was crying because I was stepping out of my comfort zone. I was crying because I was choosing to believe in myself. I was crying because I was ashamed that it had taken me so long to do so.

But I had a plan. My plan shed my shame and to graduate high school. My new school’s motto is: “Whatever it takes.” If it took swallowing my fear and shame then so be it. I wanted to take the Writer’s Craft course and a photography course because I thought that it was an extension of what I was already doing here on the blog. But I couldn’t take the Writer’s Craft course without taking the prerequisite English course, so I signed up for that too. Later, I decided that I could use my volunteer work at Charlie’s school to get my final credit as a co-op. I went from being a full time mom to being a full time student. The adjustment was difficult, and both my family and I felt the burden. I struggled to keep my head above water and I dropped any extra weight that might have caused me to drown: the knitting needles were put away, visits with friends were spaced farther and farther apart, the house was cleaned on a what absolutely needs to be done basis, my 365 project became a series of crappy snappies, and the blog went dormant.

Pictures from the Patch is the safe place that gave birth to my written voice. Sometimes that voice was a whisper, sometimes a plea and sometimes a yell, but with every post I have been searching to believe that the dress fits. That I am enough.

In the past four months, I have grown into that dress. I no longer feel like a little girl pretending to be something she is not. I have succeeded. At the end June, I will graduate. I will stand proud and search the audience for the faces John, Kenzie, Josh and Charlie - my family who believed in me, even when I didn’t. The funny thing is: the more I become, the more I grow into myself, the more I realize that I’ve been enough all along. My worthiness is not based on if I feel small, hurt, and afraid or if I am standing in my best light. Either way, I am enough.




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