This week’s discovery challenge: Origin Story
Spiderman has one. So does Wonder Woman. What about you?
The origin story of my life, at least, in the last almost 18 months, has been the reinvention of myself as an individual in the face of a relationship ending, and how it prompted me to give writing a bigger place in my life.
I have always enjoyed writing, but it’s always been an occasional hobby and not something I took seriously. I knew I had some ability to write, but I just never felt like fostering it on any serious level. I vowed to never be the “starving writer” type, and stuck to a day job, keeping writing as a hobby. Because when your interests are varied enough, and alot of what you write best involves nostalgia, snarky commentary, and the occasional heartfelt piece, no one is knocking down my door to write something for them. Trust me, if that opportunity arose tomorrow, I’d still have to go to work the day after. Because reality dictates that bills are inevitable, and health insurance is necessary.
Until December 2014, I was taking dance lessons once a week (Hip Hop, for the curious), worked full time (Still do, same job), and was in a relationship that was ultimately failing (but was blind to believing). I was also dancing on an injured right ankle that was apparently (and misguidedly) only helped by physical activity. So I danced my heart out, and worked out, since I was on a weight loss kick and was successful.
Well, as Not Luck would have it, my ankle dislocated getting out of bed (it actually popped back into place with a little encouragement and moving it around), and I was forced to give up the activity I believed (at the time) was the only thing holding my sanity together. Without it, I was sad and upset. But what I didn’t know at the time was that it was going to be the catalyst for everything beginning to fall into place.
The next event in the cycle was the end of the relationship, when I finally gave my boyfriend at the time his pink slip. The relationship, such as it was, had run its course. I was ready and able to move on with my life, once I had figured out that I could go on without him. So “Bye Felicia,” you’re gone.
And then, since things happen in threes, my grandma died.
I went to work two days after my grandma had died, and sat down and penned a tribute to her, saving it and filing it away. I wasn’t planning on publishing it – I figured that no one read my blog, so why would anyone read that. The day of her funeral, I came home and looked at the draft post again. I hemmed and hawed over the idea of letting people see it. I finally got up the nerve and published it.
What I got next was what inspired me to really make this a fulfilling hobby – people READ something I wrote. Not just people clicking around for the sake of it, but people who cared. Family, friends, friends of family. I didn’t know some of the people who read it. It was mentioned in sympathy cards. The link was shared by family members. My mom even read it. She loved it. It was her mother, after all.
So where does writing figure into all of this? At the time all of this was happening, I was in a funk, a downturn if you will. My miserable, unhappy self had a huge black ortho boot on my right leg, I was in pain, and I had a stupid boyfriend who didn’t seem to care about the relationship anymore. Because I didn’t have what I felt I needed in my life (Dance school), I didn’t really want to open up to anything new. I had a blog, but I didn’t feel like working on it. At the time, it was only something I updated when I felt like I wanted to update it. Which was every other week or so. I didn’t care. However, I should add that I did put my creative energy into editing a fan music video, so I was doing something productive until I was in too much pain and had to put my leg up. I will let you know that I didn’t turn into mush or allow my brain to do the same.
I really felt unfulfilled by my blog at the time. I had given up on it in 2010, and took a hiatus before coming back to it in 2012. I had a website at that time, and decided a blog was a better thing for me. But I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to keep the blog going, and considered not updating it anymore.
But all of these events made me realize that writing was my calling, and that I really should embrace it. It’s a talent only I can lay claim to in my family. I don’t know anyone else in my family with the ability I was given. I certainly didn’t inherit, and it’s something I’ve never had to work tirelessly to perfect, though side by side with things I wrote 5-10 years ago, I’m a far better scribe now than I was then. And since I had a fulfilling hobby taken away from me, why not try to make a pre-existing talent a hobby I could love with as much passion? Especially when it was something only I could do?
The Factor of Three really was the inspiration behind everything I’ve done since January 2015. I’ve done activities and day trips, I’ve taken pictures, and I’ve put fingers to keyboard and wrote about the things I’ve been doing. I’ve also embraced my nostalgic side and turned that into a side writing job of sorts as a contributor to Retroist since July 2015. A few months ago, I was given privileges to submit my posts to the site, rather than going through an Admin, a “job” I take seriously and have listed proudly on my Facebook page. I’ve also published a few articles on Agony Booth, and before I really began to pool my talents into writing, I contributed several pieces to Buzzfeed in 2013 and 2014. I’d eventually love to get back into publishing there.
And, seeking to really establish myself, I moved my blog over to WordPress. I wanted the change that had been the theme of my life, and since May 2015, I’ve enjoyed really keeping my blog afloat. Not bad for someone who, three months earlier, nearly called my writing “career” quits.
Would I love to work as a writer professionally? Yes and no. Yes, I have ambitions of being a published and paid writer, but no, I don’t think I’d want it to be my entire career. I’d always be afraid of burnout, not having a secure income, and worse…WRITER’S BLOCK!!!!
Talk about fates as terrible as death…mentally being put out, no money, and no ideas.
Related: Writing Resume
Related: The Tribute I Almost Didn’t Publish…
There are various stories about writing and my inspiration to write. If you have the opportunity, feel free to take a look. 🙂