Tag Archives: bloggers

Tell me I'm not insane. I'm just a writer.

Growing up, I always found a way to be different.

can't tell in this one, but I have on boys sweatpants

Nine and squirming at the back of the line on picture day, the shortest kid in the class.

Thirteen and stick thin, coming home from 3-hour-long gymnastics practices to sit in front of the television and watch ER. Bowl of ice cream in one hand. Spoon in the other.

Always and forever unable to sit still in itchy tights or pantyhose that ran the moment I reached to adjust them.

another hat one

Fifteen in sweatpants and crumpled t-shirts, my straightened hair awkwardly juxtaposing this.

And yet I forgot for a time that there’s a beauty in being different. Being weird.

Writers always say they’ve been writing since they could spell out the alphabet. I didn’t leech onto writing like that. My room was cluttered with ribbons, medals and trophies. My eclectic stack of diaries were pushed to the bottom of my desk drawer, buried under stacks of computer paper and old homework assignments.

But now, twice a week, I free myself from all expectations of reality for 75 minutes at a time and allow myself to be whoever I want to be.

There’s a beauty in that. I cannot even begin to justify it to the non-writers, the naysayers.

Anyone who can fill out a job application by themselves can write. They can sit down with a fresh sheet of loose-leaf paper and let the words bleed together incoherently on the page until what once was clean has become dirty. What was once a tree becomes a work of calligraphy. An artist’s canvas. What once was pure has been tarnished with our broken thoughts, unspoken worries and grandiose dreams.

It took me twenty years to become a writer. But I was one all along. I wrote for my intermediate school newspaper in fifth grade. Swore that off for about eight years.

And at barely seventeen, in a sleep-deprived and delusional state, I made the ridiculous decision to write a 50,000-word novel in a single summer.

Normal kids worked and goofed off. Wasted three months trying to turn six shades of orange. I did that too. Had a foolproof method for that, actually.

Turn on iPod. Bake in sun until I couldn’t stand it any longer. Jump into pool. Climb back out. Grab earphones. Repeat.

Rita's uniform, music, writing (?)

I worked nights at Rita’s sitting on the freezer and relishing in all-you-can-eat free water ice. After my shift, my stick red lips stained, I’d come home to write until 2 a.m. Often forgetting I still had that red polo on. Just clacking away at a keyboard in my room, the whole house quiet while I hashed out details of a romance I’d only dreamed about. The kind of guy I wanted to fall in love with me. My best friend kept me writing. “I want him to be real,” she once said.

I hadn’t met him yet, but I knew everything about him.

There are bloggers and there are writers. And then, there are writers (like me) who blog.

I’m compelled to figure out why some guy is complaining about a blind woman who lives in the apartment above him playing classical music. Why does anyone hear entirely fabricated conversations in their head? Please, please oh please, tell me I am not insane. I’m just a writer.

That is all I ask of you, my fellow writers and bloggers. I ask you to believe that writing is uncontrollable. That I cannot put up an invisible fence and expect myself to not run into it and get electrocuted.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m running in circles, but in the end, I always return to the person I was meant to be. A little bit weird. A lot bit crazy. A writer.

Six months ago, I fell in love. With the Internet.

Valentine’s Day, as a general rule, is pretty black and white. You love it or you hate it. For a solid 18 years, I hated it. Who wants to go to school and pass around cards and worry about getting any back?

My roommate’s been in a relationship for five years. Friday morning, she reveled in her ability to spend so much money at Target on red and pink cards, candy, and gourmet chocolate. And maybe a year ago, I might’ve nodded my head and then closed my bedroom door, drowning out the love with some Taylor Swift lyrics.

valentine's day 2009

I’ve only ever celebrated one Valentine’s Day. Complete with a path of rose petals embarrassingly lining my dorm hallway, a dark room lit only by heart-shaped candles, and the sounds of sappy love music in the background.

But this year, for some reason, it’s different. Some of my best friends are in long-term committed relationships. And I’m not.

My emotional well-being today is supposed to be determined by my relationship status on Facebook. And I’m not okay with that. No one should be.

valentine's day 2011

valentine's day 2011

Six months ago, I fell in love. With the Internet. I fell in love with the notion that you don’t have to be ten feet away from someone to know them and interact with them and love them. The notion that you don’t ever have to stand next to them to know that they are a part of your life and they have fundamentally changed you.

In the last 81 days, I have written 27 letters to 53 people. Most of them letters of love. Thank you notes sent to addresses in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey. Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina. Indiana, Wisconsin and Canada.

I am not a love letter champ, though. I am leaving that title for my dear friend Hannah, who wrote 250 love letters this fall and sent them out to people.

I am, however, a product of the love that stems from spreading your heart out on a piece of paper, splattering the words like flecks of paint for the world to take in and digest like a Pollock painting. I cannot describe to you how it feels to meet so many wonderful people in half a year and not feel upset that they’re not next door.

That’s what’s made Valentine’s Day a bearable concept. Knowing that out there, maybe a thousand miles away, someone knows my heart. They know it and they read it every week on a computer screen. The Internet has, quite literally, saved my life.

My hope is that all of you in this vast cyber world find a quick message of love in your e-mail inbox or your text message inbox. I hope that those of you who pray each day for a letter, a reminder that you are a soul who has affected this world, receive that letter today in some form or another. Typed or written. Spoken or recorded.

And if you’re searching for a Valentine, my heart’s open.