Why do I write? This is a question I have asked myself for years. I have always felt a need to write ever since I was a child. Like everyone, this need has gone unfulfilled for long periods of time, and this ends up causing anguish.
When I was a child, I would go through notebooks with no problem. I could quickly fill one in less than a month. I took a journal with me whenever I could. I wasn’t always writing about things that I saw or experienced, most of the time I was writing about how I felt and how I saw the world. My parents thought this was a wonderful gift. They encouraged me to write as much as I wanted to, and they never complained when I would grab a notebook or two at the store.
As I grew older, I stopped writing as often as I had in the past. The desire was pushed under the surface as I made my way through the world, but it never left me. It would return from time to time. When I was in the Navy, I would write letters to friends and family that often ran for 5-6 pages. The postal clerk on the ship joked that I should have to pay extra postage because the envelopes were stuffed full. I knew that writing took my mind away from the isolation and drudgery of Navy life at sea.
I always knew I was different. No one else wrote as I did. I took pride in my own handwriting. I wanted people to be able to read what I wrote instead of a scribble that no one could understand. I didn’t consider myself to be better than anyone else, but I knew that I didn’t fit nicely into their view of the world either. When I left the Navy, I tried to get back to writing on a regular basis, but there were too many distractions in my way. I was trying to erase my loneliness with a flurry of activity, but all that accomplished was to take me away from my love of writing. Perhaps, inwardly, I was afraid of what I would write, what my feelings would look like pouring out onto the printed page. That fear led me down some dark paths. Luckily, I found Hal and my life began to turn around.
I am 54 years old now. It is hard to believe that I have been with Hal for approximately one-third of my life. Obviously, I am happy with how my life has turned out. That happiness eventually led to me writing once again, and now I feel so free. My concern now is to write on a regular basis. Most of the time, what I write goes into this blog, but there are occasions when I find that I have written something so intensely personal that I cannot send it out to the world. I consider this a fair trade in exchange for my sanity.