Writing for comfort. When I am away from my computer and I am not able to write – either because I am busy or I can’t find a topic – I really do miss it. (For some reason, I don’t feel as comfortable just writing with pen and paper…). In some ways, not writing makes me feel lonely; as though I am missing someone. That someone is me.
When I was a child, I played alone a lot. I talked to myself and had elaborate games in my own imagination. I mimicked different accents and dialects and developed new scenarios for the characters I portrayed. I lived inside my head and had dreams of being an actress on a soap opera. Lofty goals. As I aged, I realized the possibility of being discovered for my acting skills in a very small rural community in Montana were slim to none. Still, I enjoyed fantasizing about fame and fortune as a diva on The Young and the Restless.
In college, I was living in a strange place, with no real friends. I held tight to my life back at home by writing to friends and family. Everyday, I wrote at least 3 letters. I would fill the letters with anecdotes and details about my days. In return, I would receive at least one letter a day from someone — usually my mom. As I made friends, the need for maintaining contact with my old life began to wane. I didn’t write as many letters but I used writing letters as an outlet for expressing my happiness, sadness or loneliness. Writing became a habit and though I never really kept a journal – I “journaled” by writing letters. To this day, if I need to express something I can do it best by writing TO someone.
I have written a play and receive royalties for it in September and April. It is always exciting to open that envelope and realize that a drama club or group has performed MY play. It has been performed in Canada, the UK and in several places in the U.S. I’ve started several other plays but just can’t get beyond the first outline. Not sure why — maybe the first play was just a fluky thing. Perhaps if I wrote a play as if it were a letter I might have better luck.
Being retired has given me the opportunity of having more TIME although it feels as though I am just as busy now as I was when I was working and I wonder how I ever had time to do anything before! I have a couple of writing projects that I’ve started but can never seem to finish.
One project is to write about my life just for general principle. When my mom developed dementia, I realized that I don’t really know much about her. She never really talked about herself. I’ve been thinking about having to help write her obituary when she dies and it won’t be easy. So many details we don’t know. I wonder if my kids know me any better?
Do they know how much I love the sun and warm summer days? Do they know how much I love tacos and salad and cold cereal? How much I loved to play basketball? That I can sing? (or that I used to be able to sing…) My favorite color is green – not forest green but sage green. I like Coke over Pepsi. I hate onions. I don’t like to ride a bike, I hate jogging but I love to walk. I was chubby in college. I wore braces in high school. I was the shortest girl in my class in 8th grade and the tallest as a senior. I was anemic and sickly as a child. I never did work to my full potential in school because I never believed I was very smart (I now know better).
I am very proud of them – this, I think they know. I love to play with my grandchildren – they know that too. I love to laugh with them and to watch them laugh with each other. I love it when we are all together and there is no strife or worry. Those days are the very best, the days I cherish the most. I find great comfort in writing about those days…