Hi. Oh, good Lord. I’m nervous. Okay, just jump in. Don’t even think about it. Wait- think about it, but type while you think about it… Argh! ReadysetGO!
Here’s the deal:
When I was younger I wrote very often. It kept my little Attention Deficit Disordered brain busy and allowed me to express myself when I thought that no one heard or appreciated my opinion. I would take any piece of paper I could find and scratch out little snippets of emotion to my parents when I was too upset to vocalize what I was feeling. If I was in class I would first write down my thoughts about any questions teachers asked instead of raising my hand and answering them. If I was called on to give a solution to a problem and I hadn’t written the answer down yet I would freeze up and automatically say I didn’t know or I wasn’t paying attention for fear of making a fool of myself. (Looking back that may have made me seem more of a fool, but hindsight is 20/20 and I’ve always been nearsighted in the present.)
All in all, I got my confidence from what I wrote, and I mostly used that writing to organize my overly scrambled thoughts before trying to share them with other people.
When I got to college that all changed.
I guess you could say that I tried to become a different person when I moved out of my hometown. After the 12 hour train ride north to my new living quarters I took in a deep breath and tried to initiate conversations with people instead of waiting for them to approach me.
That was really awkward.
I set down my notepads and took up a web camera to start a video blog about my daily antics for my parents to see.
That was doubly as awkward.
I ended up reading more than I wrote and listening more than I spoke. I was the “sort of nice mute girl who was odd and seemed to have no opinion.” That title just didn’t fit. I have tons of opinions! I now believe (perhaps incorrectly, hindsight isn’t so clear here) that the problem stemmed from lacking confidence to express them. After an overwhelming number of failed attempts to tell my many acquaintances what I was thinking I gave up. I even stopped vlogging. After a long and emotionally challenging year I transferred to a university closer to home and tried to get my life back together.
This is where things get a bit complicated because I’m not entirely sure how to explain what has happened since transferring. Still, I’ll give it a shot.
Two years have crawled by and I’ve lost my center. I tried to start writing again around September of 2012, but after a bike wreck left me loopy and confused for months on end I grew to see it as the bane of my existence. No matter what form of expression I attempted – essays, diaries, songs, video blogs again, poetry, or even word vomiting – I couldn’t keep a firm grasp on any thoughts. If I tried to read words on a page they would swirl or look like a foreign language. After that, I avoided any script like it was the plague. I couldn’t read the books I loved, and especially not the research-related texts that should have led me to my Pre-Medicine degree. I gave up on that dream. My grades plummeted and for the longest time I lost interest in anything scholarly – though it wasn’t all related to the struggle to write. I look back on those months and wonder what exactly happened, but it’s as clear as mud. I simply cannot explain it.
What about the present? Well, I wish I could say that everything’s just dandy and I’m the student I was before this chaos, but it isn’t. I am still struggling in classes, but perhaps not as much as before. Words are looking more and more familiar to me as I force myself to read and write again, but it takes a long time to ship coherent thoughts from my brain to my fingers. From there it’s a battle to get the idea from my fingers to the keys on my laptop. At last, the fight is either won or lost as I force those words on the screen to make sense to my brain where they are painstakingly analyzed (well, it really only comprises of me asking myself “does this make any sense at all?”). I lose when I throw my computer on my bed and suddenly have the desire to go for a run or scream. I seem to be able to run farther and farther every day… This post alone has taken me two and a half hours to complete.
Now to address the interest in all things scholarly. At the moment I see education as a tool that can help me figure out what I want or don’t want to do with my life. Learning about many things can only benefit me in the long run, and I used to be genuinely interested in learning about new topics. I’m working on discovering my never-ending fascination again, but I think it will take some time.
It’s not all bad news, though. Today I have won. I have started a blog. I have committed to writing each and every week. I suppose I could have simply started keeping a journal, but I don’t want my writing to be centered around venting about something petty that happened during the week or the struggles I’m trying to overcome.
The purpose of this blog is to make me organize my thoughts about one topic and share it with others so that my writing (and most likely my ideals, which could potentially be very eye-opening) can be critiqued instead of graded. Yes, I am aware that my grammar can be atrocious and I get often get wordy. Sure, I will be taking a class in writing as critical thinking very soon where most of those problems can be corrected. All the same, blogging can’t hurt, eh? Another upside is that I can have multiple conversations with people who are reading my babble. Sometimes class settings don’t provide that sort of opportunity. Then again, Perhaps no one will read what I write, and you know what? that would be perfectly fine, too.
I want to learn how to write again. I have decided to start today.
And now I think I need to go for a run.