“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” – Joan Didion
This week, I have been “spring cleaning” the house. Although I don’t necessarily enjoy the process, I do end up finding little gems from my past that get me thinking and reminiscing. For instance, yesterday, I found some special items from the day I married your awesome dad, as well as a page on which I had written Didion’s above words for an assignment sheet I gave to my high school students. It really spoke to me this time, especially concerning this blog that I am writing to you and why I enjoy it so much. I think Didion’s words are pretty spot on. I continue unpacking more surprises about myself.
Well, in the box where I found those things, I also found something very special to me — a cute little story I wrote at the age of 12.
As I’m sure you both know by the time you read this in 2030, I’ve always been a creative type. I have been interested in the arts my entire life – music, drama, visual arts, poetry, etc. I honestly don’t know what it would be like to be any other way.
For a while, I thought it was a weakness of mine that math and science weren’t subjects that I found easy and enjoyable. I remember around 6th grade I recognized I excelled in the language and history areas of academics and had to try a bit harder in the math and sciences. Sadly, like so many young people, I didn’t take pride in the fact that I was strong in one or two areas. Instead, I focused on the fact that I was weak in the others, and as funny as it sounds now, I cried over my very first B, which was in Science. If I could go back now and talk to the young me, I’d say that no one can excel in everything. If one did, it would be very hard to excel in any one thing.
Well, I remember it was during that period in my life when I was given that special assignment I kept all these years. I remember that I couldn’t wait to really put my creativity to work. “Finally, an assignment I’m excited about!” I thought. I recall that our teacher asked us to create a creature/character and write a children’s book, and be sure there is a moral to the story at the end. I ran home and began working on it that day. It’s funny now, actually, since my eagerness that day makes me think about Ralphie in the 1983 movie, A Christmas Story, when he runs home and can’t wait to start his writing assignment about the Red Rider B.B. gun he wants for Christmas.
Anyway, I put great detail and care into that assignment, and the finished product surprised even me. I was so proud of it. I became quite attached to that little character, which I named “Bleeper.” In fact, I had plans for him — plans that included more books about him where he would be an educational tool somehow for kids. I still adore my little character whose characteristics, now that I look at it again, are similar to my dad’s, and this makes me love Bleeper even more.
Well, I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here is my story for your enjoyment/amusement:
That’s right. I chose to write about love. Surprise, surprise. Ha
Indeed. A preacher in love with a teacher. I was a rebel. No doubt.
You have to give the 12-year-old me some props for the rhyme. No idea how I came up with this. I will stop my commentary now so that you can get to the good stuff. lol
Well, even though I wanted to do more with him, I never did try and publish anything for Bleeper. (Don’t cry. It’s sad, I know). But instead, here it is — published by means of technology for the 12yo me, and now for you.
“So, what’s your point, Mom?” you ask. I’d say my point is that there is no shame in creating. A story, a song, a painting, a play, an idea, even a blog. It might be bad, or it might not. It doesn’t matter because it’s yours. And, well, it’s fun. Creativity is something that sets us apart from other living creatures. In fact, one cannot argue with the fact that our world’s “creative types” build, innovate, and inspire. Even if you choose a career that requires little to no creativity, I hope you have something that you enjoy creating.
A friend of mine, who is an elementary school teacher, posted a photo recently of her students’ artwork. She wrote in the caption, “I love how children create without inhibition.” I absolutely agree. I think we all should — young and old. If your inhibitions exist simply because you are afraid of what others will think of your work, maybe Bleeper has inspired you.
As for me, I write. It allows me to find my truth in a creative way, and in a way that surprises me. Actually, I think that’s what I love about creating. We can sometimes surprise even ourselves.
All my love,
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