I am strongly introverted with a bit of a personal space issue. That means my preferred method of communicating is writing, as opposed to close encounter discussions that end with a hug. I also am very analytical, so I overthink and dissect daily events and interactions. While I don’t generally talk about them much, I do write about them. Essentially, I want to talk to you through words, but generally be left alone in person. Insert your visual of the Grinch here.
I have been keeping a journal since high school, so I get to look back and read about what an idiot I was. Every moment seemed to be a crises of epic proportions and I was just plain ridiculous most of the time. It was in high school though, that I discovered writing. It was (and still is) my outlet to capture thoughts and observations to help me sort through the adventures of life. It started with writing songs and progressed from there.
When my son was born with multiple medical issues, I had something really worth writing about. This coincided with the early days of blogging, which I dove into. Since that was pre-social media, I was pretty cool since I had my own Web site! Despite my personal views on being ahead of my time (by the way, these are the types of statements that made me an idiot in high school), there was a serious side to this. It was an opportunity to post the journey we (my wife and I) had with our special boy with the goal to benefit others. We didn’t get much help with information for his unique condition when he was born, so we wanted to help provide support and information for others. We had responses from people around the world with questions, offers of support and even some inquiries from medical professionals. Writing those posts had the additional benefit of providing an outlet for the challenges we faced.
Today, if we go on social media (and who doesn’t), we are saturated with stories of Uncle Frank’s cracked toe nail or the first cuss word of our co-worker’s child. I am guilty of it too, so I absolve all of us. The outlets for writing today are endless from the 140 characters of twitter to the plethora of blogs that are a google search away. I have learned that our hard work of writing in today’s world gets lost in the quagmire of the internet. Thanks a lot, Al Gore!
I still write though, a lot. Though most is in my personal journal and I reserve what I post publicly for selected topics, writing is a constant for me. This past week while in a business meeting, some good discussions were taking place and I started to think about how some of this might make a good topic to write about. Suddenly, I realized that my propensity to write about all my experiences likened me to of all people, Taylor Swift. I had previously mentioned to my wife that she seems to have to write a song about every experience that happens to her (like the VMA incident with Kanye West and what seems like countless romantic relationships). I actually held my hand to my face during the meeting with that realization. While my colleagues must have assumed I was coming to terms with this seemingly critical meeting discussion, I was instead coming to terms with this new epiphany. So, of course my first instinct was to reflect and then write about it!
How could I be like Taylor Swift? She is a musically talented, skinny, young woman. I am…well, none of those things! I am a snobby writer, not some pop princess! I realized though after much pondering (over days of course) that if I had a platform to publish songs about my life, as I grew through some critical formative years, I would have most likely done the same thing. So I guess it is OK to be like Taylor albeit a little less musically gifted, husky sized, and most conspicuously a bearded male…well you get the point. What’s important is that we communicate in whatever form we can. If you are a writer, write. A songwriter, sing. If you are a person who likes to speak, talk (just keep at least two feet away from me).
Thoughtfully collected and organized words can be a gift to share experiences and observations with the world. So maybe it is a good thing that I write about everything. Maybe it is a good thing we all use today’s technology to write about and share everything. Maybe it’s good thing that we can read about and appreciate the nuances in the lives of those around us. I hope you’re doing better Uncle Frank. To my co-worker’s daughter, you’re the sh*t too. I leave you all with this; read, write, and be like Taylor!
Writer’s note – I took the liberty of putting this in the Inspiration section of my site – maybe a bit presumptuous I know, but I just had no place else to put it!