Writers are a different breed.

Single, young writers – they’re nothing special. A dime a dozen, if I had to guess. They might charm you with their wit and tone but what obstacles do they come across in their thought and deliverance?

No, a single, young writer is merely an athletic grade school child –  holding promise for a period of time but destined to fail once practice is scorned.

A seasoned writer, though, that is something more. An independent, let’s say married, family-conscious writer – now that is a gifted individual. I realize this because I consider myself to be the former of the two: A not-so-long-ago single, young writer quickly approaching the blessing of a shared life.

But with blessings come change.

With blessings come new challenges.

The thought has prodded me often, as of late, that to speak freely of a shared life is to speak of someone else’s life – meaning that my words are not merely my own words but are now a direct reflection of my life’s co-pilot.

You see, when you write and you are young and you are single, you might consider your parents or your friends but it’s easy to write what you want because you’re independent and not directly tied to anyone.

Your parents can either laugh you off, wash their hands, or love your way with words (Thanks, mom and dad, for choosing the last of these!). Your friends may very well hate what you write and wonder if that last post was directed at them, but at the end of the day, you don’t use names in your posts and who could really say if a friend is that friend or another friend? They can remain untouched.

But a spouse? A spouse cannot be made into a friend for a work of writing. A spouse is a spouse and you will do spouse-like things with them. They might result in hilarious, slap-your-knee, fall down crying kinds of stories or tales of sadness or joy. But they could be embarrassing to someone who does not have a desire to broadcast stories like a writer does.

The result of all of this is that I will begin to practice writing. I will work to find a balance between story-telling and cherishing. Broadcasting and protecting.

I think that if I keep steadfast in my efforts, I can strike that harmony in word. And perhaps someday you might think of me as a seasoned writer. And I might think so too.

Past Influences and Parties

Fact: I feel sexiest when driving in my car, windows down, music up, night air, wind in my hair.

I drove from Grand Rapids to my parents’ home today. I arrived home just in time to catch my mom and her friends mid-celebration for one of my high school teachers; it was her retirement party.  Not only do I love being able to see my mother hosting events (her and I have both worked to better ourselves as of late and her social prowess has grown immensely in the endeavor), but it was such a treat to see the faces from my past! The retiring teacher was a favorite when I was in high school. She had a lot of influence on us and made us look at our lives more so than she was required to do. In fact, the blog I wrote about my life in 2004 was taken from the scrapbook I made for her Psychology project. What a blessing to have someone with the foresight to make me capture my own, now cherished, memories in a manner that I wouldn’t have thought of myself. 

How strange to think that students entering my high school will not have the privilege of seeing the same faces that shaped my four years there. They won’t know it, but they’re less fortunate for that. Cheated, in a way. I loved my high school experience and I attribute as much of that to my faculty as I do my friends.

I also had the opportunity to see my Spanish teacher from high school. My mother had mentioned that she was coming but it’d slipped my mind until I saw her. It’d been so long, she was probably slightly uncomfortable at my awestruck response to seeing her. She and the retiring teacher had taken me, my friends, my mother and other chaperones over to Spain, Portugal, and France for a study abroad trip in high school. We spent a good portion our time around the table recapping all of the stories that ensued from our trip and those they had taken with other classes. It’s funny how many little things you can forget in life and how quickly they can be recalled. Anyway, she was always terribly blunt when she taught at my high school; it’s a quality I always admired of her.

My Spanish teacher drove over from her current hometown to mine with one of our family friends from my earlier years. It’d been ages since I’d seen her as well. Our families used to do everything together. One of their daughters even broke her arm at the jungle gym at my house when she was little! When they moved, we made trips out there to see them every so often but time has caused those occasions taper off. Now I suppose my parents go and see them while I’m busy with something else or they make it an “adults only” get together (and everyone knows that you become an adult when you grow older until it comes time for seating charts at holidays or adult gatherings among your parents and their friends ;)) Haha. C’est la vie.

Sitting there and soaking in their company, I realize that I miss them and the effect they had on my youth. I wanted to give them all hugs goodbye but I think that time does funny things to adult-child relationships. When I see them I am immediately brought back to my youth and although I am now comfortable sharing conversation with them at an adult level, I still look up to them. I gather that the opposite doesn’t occur so naturally. I think they probably see me now as an adult and feel a disconnect from the girl they knew to the woman before them. It’s just my theory based loosely on observation but I think it may be true.

Either way, I think it’s so healthy to reminisce and I’m glad for the opportunity. It can be unhealthy too, but I think nostalgia is a beautiful emotion. It shows us how we’ve grown.

“Jungle Drum” Emiliana Torrini – You need to listen to this song! Feel good and move your feet.