It’s Never Too Late to Start Writing Again
On exploring abandoned words after 25 years
Quiet kids can struggle to find their place in the world. I know because I was a painfully shy child who only found my voice when I was writing. Written words were my way to articulate feelings that were impossible to express verbally. I didn’t write for enjoyment; I wrote out of necessity. I wrote to get the thoughts out of my head.
After grade school, the writing wasn’t a priority anymore. It didn’t feel like I needed the crutch for survival as I did before. I went on to high school and college and eventually ended up with a master’s degree. I never felt the need to write. As an adult, I blended into society and found the ordinary life that most grown-ups do. My career didn’t involve writing, so over two decades, I lost my words.
But in the past year, my urge to write has been fierce. I had a baby, moved to a new city and began feeling more isolated from my people. I’ve spent a lot more time thinking, which I think naturally lends itself to wanting to write. It’s like I’ve hit the restart button on my life, except I’m starting over where I began. When your “normal” strips away, you find new motivation and clarity. And sometimes, you find your voice again.
Last month I started writing for myself again. I’ve been thinking more about my son and wondering how he’ll remember his childhood. That’s made me spend more time reliving mine, remembering how cathartic writing used to be. And the ideas just keep coming. It’s like they’ve been locked up for 25 years, waiting patiently for me to open the gate and let them free. I feel vulnerable again. The same way I felt back in elementary school, but I recognize the authenticity of that feeling now. I realize the freedom that comes with being able to express myself. I acknowledge that this is who I was always supposed to be, a writer.