I love the beginning of a new year. I love the feeling of a fresh start and somehow the depression I usually have in November/December washes away with the excitement of the new.
And so I am met with excitement about what 2017 holds for this blog. For this thing I am creating. And I’m figuring out more and more what exactly this “thing” is that I am creating.
I am a writer.
Which is hilarious, because a mere four years ago I was in tears trying to write a personal essay for a class (right Janie?). My anxiety over writing was so high I couldn’t put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) without being filled with fear and anxiety.
And now I have a goal of two blog posts a week, and I’m about to be published in three (yes, 3!) magazines this spring and am looking for more opportunities to write. Maybe a book will happen. . .
When things first got bad, all I did was write. I wrote through the pain and the hurt; I wrote in the hospital I wrote at home, I wrote with the belief that maybe if I got it all out it would leave me. The bipolar disorder, the desire to self harm would literally spill onto the page and I would be healed.
And then I stopped writing. I stopped writing somewhere around when I got kicked out of the church I was a member of. It hurt more to write than it did not to write so I simply stopped.
Writing became scary. Writing became the one thing which terrified me more than anything. I think because writing is personal. Writing is an act of massive, beautiful vulnerability.
I couldn’t write because I wasn’t ready yet. I was still too scared of who I am to embrace it enough to put it on paper. Because writing it made it real. Writing about being queer somehow made the queerness even more real, and therefore even more scary to me.
I lost a lot of things to the bad times. But I lost the writing to healing. I had to stop writing to find peace with who I am so I could start writing again. And writing again will bring about another layer of healing. Writing again IS bringing about another layer of healing.
I know who I am.
I am a lot of things, but a writer is one of them.