Memories are amazing communicators. The scent of a candle may awaken feelings of your first dance with the love of your life. A song echoing from the car next to you in traffic brings back images of cruising through the mountains, t-tops off, mooing at the cows as you pass them. Yes, these are my memories. They are not made up. Memories can teach you an astonishing amount about yourself. If you let them.
My earliest vacation memory occurred at Disney World when I was ten years old. The moments I remember about that vacation are quite peculiar. We stayed at the Polynesian Resort and we had cherry danishes every morning for breakfast. Don’t ask, I have no idea. This is what I remember. I also remember the souvenir I received on that trip. A Mickey Mouse diary. You know, the one with a cool clasp and a key the size of a safety pin. I felt supremely confident that all my thoughts and recordings were safely guarded by that imitation leather strap when in reality a single piece of duct tape would have been much more secure. It is somewhat ironic those feelings kept so closely guarded back then are now being freely shared with the world through this blog. Alas, I digress.
It was around this same time that I remember a particular homework assignment in my English class. We were each asked to craft a short story about any subject, real or fictional. When I was a youngster, I played a lot of golf. When I say a lot, I mean every day of the summer. My dad would drop me off in the morning on his way to work. He would pick me up on the way home after work. In between, I would play as much as I could and drink a countless number of iced teas to stay hydrated. On one occasion, I was fortunate to score a hole-in-one. Or so I thought. That became the subject of my writing assignment.
You see, I was led to believe that my golf ball had found the bottom of the cup in one stroke. This was based upon the wild cheers coming from the green that I could not see. When I got to the green, I found my ball six inches from the hole. No hole-in-one. But, I did hold the feeling of that elusive moment in a golfer’s life for about ten minutes. My short story was all about sharing that feeling with the most intricate detail. The smell of the grass, the rustling of the wind through the trees, my heartbeat going from monotonous to out of control in an instant. It was an amazing feeling that I wanted to share with everyone.
As incredible as that feeling was, what felt even better was going back and re-reading what I had crafted. There was something about creating a vivid picture from a blank piece of paper and my choice of words that left me inexplicably blissful.
Fast forward several years to my sophomore year in college. As an engineering major, I was required to take a certain number of non-major electives. I chose Philosophy 101. For those of you that know me personally (or can tell from my blog content), I enjoy pondering the universe. This course really resonated with me. I remember having a writing assignment that required some deep introspection. Upon completing this paper, that same blissful state washed over me again. I had taken thoughts and feelings inside me and composed a work of art on paper using only words. Unfortunately, my professor failed to agree with that assessment. After receiving a C on the assignment, the course was promptly dropped and the memories of that feeling were pushed to the back burner.
Three months ago, I created this blog out of a desire to wake up my creative side. I was in a funk. I was looking for a forum to express myself, to make some sense out of my feelings (or lack thereof), to probe different areas of my life in an effort to determine what brought meaning and purpose. Little did I know the “thing” that would bring inner peace would be writing itself. Serendipity at its best.
If there was ever a quote that was custom made for me, this one by Stephen Hawking would be it. I am not forthcoming with my verbal communication. But, if you were able to peek inside my mind, there is a jumble of information moving well beyond the accepted speed limit in a somewhat reckless manner. Chaos would not be an inappropriate choice of words.
The universe has attempted to help me organize this chaos on at least two other occasions. In grade school, it sent me that euphoric feeling after completing my English assignment. In college, it tried again though its attempts were dashed by the subjective judgment of my philosophy professor. With the inception of my blog, the 3rd time was truly a charm.
I liken it to frozen water pipes in the middle of winter. Even though you turn the faucet on, you get barely a drip. However, once you light a flame under the thing that matters, those pipes thaw out and the water just flows. It’s a beautiful thing.
I have realized that writing is my way of communicating with the world. It’s how the reckless traffic patterns in my mind have evolved into a highly efficient version of the German Autobahn. The written word is my way of making sense of my thoughts, my feelings, my experiences, my life. It’s as if there is a direct connection from my “true self” through my body, down my arm, and out of my fingertips as they press the keys and transform my thoughts into a concrete entity.
Words for me are like a magic elixir that soothe the most enraging moments, capture the most engaging ones, and allow me to share my true self in the most authentic manner possible. Just as I need to breathe, eat, and sleep to survive, I must also write. It makes me come alive.
I certainly feel like I’m on the write track.