I've Fallen in Love With Words (And You)
When I was a kid, I thought growing meant I would feel braver. I thought it meant I would feel stronger, more competent, and more impressive in the eyes of others.
I thought I would just intuitively feel what I should do with my life.
Now I know that my thoughts were misguided.
Eventually I realized that there is a big difference between feeling something and being something. You don’t necessarily need to feel something to besomething.
The truth is, you can become something whenever you want.
I remember reading something Jeff Goins wrote about how his world changed when he started calling himself “a writer.”
That’s pretty dumb, I thought at the time.
Then, I wrote long enough on Medium, posting consistently, rain or shine, good comments or bad. It didn’t matter
What mattered is that I kept coming back for more. I kept experimenting. I wrote because I had to.
And I don’t mean that anyone was making me do it.
I wrote — and continue to write — because I feel it burst out of me.
Then something shifted inside me.
It was time. I decided: “I’m a writer.”
There was no defining moment, no momentous chain of events. I simply had developed the creative habit, and I was obsessed.
I can honestly say I love it. I love the process.
That’s what they tell us in social-work school that we must grow to love.
And I’ve grown to love it — both with mental health and with writing.
When I combine the two, it makes my electrons tingle with excitement.
I don’t even know what that means, but I wrote it down just now because words are imperfect.
I can’t perfectly capture how I feel when I write about making mental health more accessible, but still I try.
Words are inexact, but they are symbolic strands of connection. They are beautifully imperfect.
When I write, I bottle up my feelings in words and push them out into the uncertain waters of the Internet.
I want someone — a reader — to, half-dazed and emerging from the chaos of life, simply alight upon them. I want this reader to see my words as if they are words the reader actually spoke at one point in the murky past.
I know what that feeling is like from my perspective, when I stumble upon someone’s unearthed treasure — and it’s mind-blowing to imagine that it can happen as a result of what I write.
And then, when someone steps through the void to comment on one of my posts, to point out that I just connected on a human-to-human level — that’s it.
That’s enough right there, and I could stop writing.
But I don’t. Because the more I write, the more it grows.
Some days it’s a glacial trickle of thoughts and ideas.
Other days, it’s a mountain of madness, with each trail taking me up to oxygen-deprived heights before tumbling back down on the side that never sees the sun.
I write to better know my thoughts, to better know myself.
And when my strange thoughts are acknowledged as not so strange after all, it’s a joining of the human experience.
It’s a vacillation from nothing to meaning. And then, transformed, to meaningful nothingness once the connection has been made and the online reader and writer turn adrift and go separate ways.
It’s a dance and a fall and a hope that I’m not the only one in this world who feels the way I do.
If the medium is the message, I’m learning to adapt to the medium.
If I didn’t write here, I’d go write somewhere else.
I’d send you my thoughts in the hope that you’d know what I mean.