You know I think it’s really interesting that we as people have so much focus on our vocation, I mean yes obviously, work is what pays for life but who we are is not in what we do, at least for me it isn’t my identity.

I’m a writer. I pretty much always have been doing it, since I was a kid. It’s a passion and my job, but it’s not who I am. I’m a lot of things. I often get the question; “what inspires you to write?” My answer is always a little different because I feel like I am always a little different. I’m growing and changing, month to month, even day to day. I’m a progressive person, at least in the personal sense, I don’t have to move to a new place but I do feel the need to always be improving. After all, what’s the point of staying the same?

When I wrote my first book at 17-a YA fiction novel-my motives were quite different than what they are today. Different also than what they were for the cluster of years I was a newspaper columnist. What inspires me to write today is my own life experience, what I’ve endured, who I’ve been, and who I’m becoming. My writing today is authentic and truthful which would explain why the current novel I’m drafting (my second) is a memoir on the past few years of my life. Writing for me is cathartic, it helps me process and think, this gift of words, this blessing I have enables me to illustrate things artistically in a way that brings me and hopefully others solace.

I am a writer but writing is what I do, it is not who I am. Who I am is layers of things I myself cannot even begin to count. The only one who truly knows the depths of me is my Creator. I am my mother and my father, I’m a sister and a pet parent. I am memories and melodies. I’m coffee and the smell of rain. I am sickness, sorrow, and sins. I am made of pain and pleasure and lust and shame. I’m in kindergarten racing through the halls with my walker. I’m summers spent at the campground. I’m the girl wearing a cap and gown. I’m a part time painter and a best friend. I’m a survivor. I am a thriver. I am excelsior. Now at 23, I’m someone older than I ever thought I’d be.

So I guess, when I’m all these things it’s difficult for me to just be a writer because I think personally who I am is how God made me and that’s always changing because He is always doing a new thing.

I’ll tell you what though, the me I know for sure is the woman I am when I’m alone. When there’s nowhere to be and no one to see. I think a person can really tell what they are made of when it comes to how they deal with pain. When it’s just them and their suffering, how would they deal without any rescuing? I’ve had to answer this on more than one occasion and

“it’s always interesting for me to see how I’ll tackle the next thing that just might kill me.”

They say that fire is a purifying agent and in the furnace is an all to familiar place for me to be. I’m progressive, I like to be pushed, I get a serious high from kicking my own butt. That’s why I love the suffering I endure in the gym, it is a pain that’s great for me, a pain of victory. My God is a good God that is insistent on making all that is great in my life even greater, thus He burns me continually, and each time I emerge with a little more shine than I had before.

What inspires me to write is love and pain and choosing to do the right thing with it. The purge of poetry consumes me. I wouldn’t consider myself poetic at all but it’s about the only thing I can write raw-one shot, one draft-and not despise it the next day. Poetry just may be the best writing has to offer for me, it’s where I can take all the negativity and use it as positive energy. What inspires me to write is lifting up my shirt and seeing my back marred and scarred with gashes of silver and gold.

4 thoughts on “Excelsior

  1. I don’t think it means what we do in career, it means in what we do with life. Do we help people when they’re in need? Do we dance in the mirror when no one is home? Do we always forgive those who hurt us? Do we hold onto grudges? Do we drink coffee at midnight? Every little thing that we do makes up who we are. 🙂 I don’t think its referring to simply our career.

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