A blank page excites me. I cannot count the number of notebooks I have purchased on the thrill of their emptiness alone. They hide quietly in drawers and storage boxes, on bookshelves and desks waiting to taste the ink from my pen. Sometimes it scares me, the openness a clean slate represents. All of the things it could be, it could also not be. I can fail as easily as I can succeed. My fear bubbles as my thrill begins to peak, cheeks warm from both emotions colliding beneath the surface. It is a quiet alchemy that creates the golden thread.
As a 23-year-old wife and mother, I still struggle with the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Helping mold two small people is difficult when one’s own mold has not begun to set. I do know a few certain things about myself, however; first, satisfaction does not come easily to me unless I am left with no choice, such as a looming deadline (many an essay has been completed with literal minutes to spare). I am a perfectionist and incredibly detail-oriented. Second, I have a frightening density around my heart that flexes and burns like something alive – anxiety and depression have a strong hold on my life. Third, creating is the only thing that has consistently helped with those two things. The blank page stirs up my anxiety, but it also stirs up my creativity. My first “career choice” as a child was a journalist. All I know now is that when I grow up, I want to be alive, and really alive, too… not just breathing. Creating makes me feel.
Writing has not been the cornerstone of my life, but it certainly has been a supporting beam. I mostly dabbled in poetry (unsurprisingly) as a teenager, not letting the words take form until they fell out of my pen. The stanzas were broken and confusing, no rhythm or rules. Looking back, this is an excellent metaphor for my own life. No traumatic events have caused my emotional turmoil. I have always been emotional and self-centered, something I have fought for years. One day at seventeen it simply all fell down onto my chest, and I have not felt light and free since. My poems filled with liquid angst, then hardened, and disappeared entirely.
One thing I have certainly noticed is that writing in particular opens my heart, little by little. A lot of effort for not a lot of progress, and if I am quiet for too long it slams shut again and I have to start from the beginning – one step forward, two steps back, for it’s always harder to pick back up. I am waiting for the day when density will crack… the sticky fingers clawing up my shoulders and neck will dissolve into the spring air, and the breeze will blow through my chest.
For now I will step over the threshold of fear and allow someone new, a perfect stranger, into this alchemist’s world. Like every inexperienced ‘net writer, and maybe some veteran writers, too, I fear rejection. Criticism I can take, if it is dealt softly (and if it isn’t, then I can take that, too, just not as easily). Only a handful of people have really seen what I have to say, so I feel I cannot truly know if it is acceptable or not. I don’t know why it should matter, for it is an extension of me and therefore others’ opinions should mean nothing; however, of course, they do mean something. A lot of something. Until I become more confident in my writing I need that criticism, praise, and information.
May brings this blog to life, to contain a myriad of words, art, and other beauties. An infinitesimal thread of gold binds them together, and to me.