And So It Began
If you would've asked college-aged me if I ever thought I would be writing later on in life, I would've pondered the thought, then proceed to tell you all the reasons why it wouldn't work out.
First off, college-aged me would've said that I had to think sensibly--consider my future. Writing? C'mon, I mean, I'm good but not THAT good. Certainly, not good enough to make a living of it. Who would want to read anything I wrote? And even if there were a few weirdos out there willing to take the plunge, it would never amount to anything. Hey, I'm just telling you the truth. These are the kinds of thoughts that rolled around in my head. Somewhere, somehow, I believed I wasn't good enough; even though I enjoyed it, I never pursued it. What a mistake.
Fast-forward many years later. I was walking onto an elevator when a man was walking out. We literally bumped shoulders. After trading apologies he looked at me and his eyes brightened. I know you, I thought. I would see this guy at the hospital. He volunteered there and would give out free books to children and their families. He was a nice guy, but believe it or not, he never seemed that happy. So, why pray tell, was he so happy today? He must've read my thoughts because he proceeded to tell me that the most wonderful thing had happened to him.
"What happened?" I asked, eager to share his joy. Whatever he had to say had swept him off his feet and maybe I hoped that some of that joy might spread to mine.
"My book is getting published!" he answered, voice a crescendo, eyes shining. He was smiling too, and in that instant, I realized I'd never seen him smile.
"Your book? You wrote a book?"
"Yeah, and the same people that edited the Harry Potter books are editing mine."
"Wow, that's incredible! Congratulations!" I patted him on his shoulder.
We were holding up the elevator and he looked to be in a rush, but I didn't want him to leave so quickly. Not without telling me more. I stepped off the elevator and asked him what his book was called. He told me. I asked him to write down the title. He did. He even offered me an editor's card in case--well, in case I don't know what. I'd never written anything.
I waived goodbye as he floated off. I used to see that guy almost every week and after that, I never saw him again.
What struck me about this man was how happy he was. Genuinely gleeful. Had I ever been that happy? I thought about it. Of course, I had. Many times. Just, not as of late. It had been a lonely time. Very lonely. I had felt isolated from the world. Still do sometimes. My journey had changed through no fault of my own or anyone else's. My road had simply diverged.
I walked back to my room and sat on a cold formica bench, thinking. I fished the business card from my pocket and flipped it between my fingers. Wow, a book, I thought. Must be nice. Then it hit me. I used to write. I used to keep journals for years and when I was a kid I would write stories and prepare magazines that I'd made up. I remembered how fun it was and thought it might be useful to pick a pen and paper back up. At the very least, it would take my mind off of things.
And that's how it all began....
I don't know if anything will become of this whole writing thing. It's highly likely that nothing will come of it. But in the end, if you don't try you'll never succeed. A simple statement, but sometimes there's truth and beauty in simplicity.