I think this truth has been hiding, held captive inside of me my entire life. In this very moment, I am beginning to believe these simple words. I need to write.
Let’s rewind. I have always been told that I should write. For as long as I can remember, my mother has been telling me what a gifted writer I am and that I should write. As any rebellious child would do, I shunned her encouragement and went for science and medicine instead. Only a handful of people know this, but I won awards for writing as a kid. My English teachers graciously cheered me on. I secretly thrived on writing poetry to let loose my teenage angst. I wrote my valedictorian speeches for junior high and high school.
But I didn’t want to write.
After pursuing a career in nursing I thought I had escaped my writing call. Then I got to grad school. My peers kept telling me how much they loved my writing. And blogging became an outlet for me to express the tumultuous life change happening inside of me. Personal writing became a way to touch the Divine—to worship, so to speak—when I knew of nowhere else to go. And making my writing public ushered in an experience of vulnerability that illuminated my arrogance, my insecurities, and my fears. Which is why I left blogging a short while ago.
I see now that I’ve always been afraid to write.
I’m a perfectionist. That is why I like science, why I like diagnostic categories, why I like detailed grading rubrics. And it’s why I am so afraid to write. There is no rubric for a perfect blog post, no clear-cut categories for good or bad writers. Words are not perfect or imperfect. There is no either/or. The words must simply come from me. They must be my own and they must speak truth, my truth. Easier said than done.
I’m starting to see why I need to write.
Opening my heart and letting it spill onto paper (or my laptop screen) is my worship. By that I mean that writing becomes my unique way of participating in the act of creation—creating is a gift bestowed on us by the Divine, and to participate in creating is to experience his (or her) life within us. You could say writing is my art. And God knows I am so much more than a perfectionistic scientist.
So I need to write.
To experience the Divine in me. To process the profound changes occurring deep within me. To release any fettered emotions that are holding me captive. To do something different than my daily black & white work of diagnosing, writing scholarly papers, and doing research. To face this gift inside of me that I cannot tell is my demon or my angel.