If you asked my 11 year old self what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wouldn’t have wavered. I would have replied that I wanted to be a writer. And that never changed. I didn’t even major in something practical, as was suggested by those that love me.
I ended up studying literature and working in business writing, which, funny enough, turns out to be very practical.
Fast forward a couple decades and here I am, spending my weekend cleaning (because that is what all neurotically busy mothers do). While sorting boxes in a storage closet, I came across the roots of my ambition, my first journals dating back to that 11 year old self. I remember filling them over the years (there are at least 15) with what I imagined was pure genius, prodigy even. Every time I closed the cover of a completed journal, I marveled at it. I wrote a book. This convinced me that I was a writer. (Somehow, today, I feel less confident in this fact.)
So, yay me. I didn’t change my mind. I didn’t give up. I maintained unwavering conviction in the art and am still muddling in it today.
Just for laughs, I thought I’d share a piece of my terrible pre-teen poetry. Just a sliver though. Because I can’t. I. Just. Can’t. I cried of embarrassment as I read this. Not a little welling of the eyes but big can’t-see-the-page tears. Some things tucked in the back of a storage closet are better off.
Wow, right? You don’t find this kind of drama in every 11 year old. Only the nerdy ones.
Is there anything more intimate than one’s first stab at poetry? I may as well be standing naked in front of the class. But if you can’t laugh at yourself…
I still write poetry and much of it isn’t much better. My themes have evolved, somewhat. After reading a poem a couple of weeks ago, my husband put it down, nodded thoughtfully and opened his mouth to speak only to close it again. “What?” I said. Is it that terrible? I thought. Is he speechless at its utter beauty? Finally he says, “How come all of your poems are about sex?”
Well, age doesn’t necessarily bring sophistication.