I’m starting to realize how fast everything is coming at me. I’m planning for a trip out of the country; my blog is growing; I’ve finally started a project that feels right; I’m working; I find time to workout at least 2 hours daily. When I first graduated high school—last summer—I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. The Army was my top option, because at least it was something…and I always had an interest in that sort of thing. I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t know where to start. My thought process during this time was all screwed up. I was trying to think of an escape—an instant escape from the life I had (also part of the reason the Army intrigued me so much). The big picture wasn’t something I took the time to look at.
Throughout my writing life, I obviously knew the goal was to get published. I always assumed if I were to get published it had to be a best-seller. The immediate pressure I put on myself at such a young age was so exhausting and dream crushing. It made sitting down to write the hardest task of all. How in the hell was I going to come up with a single sentence if the only thing on my mind was how I would sell the thing? That mindset was a crucial part of my growth. The hours I spent researching helped me realize how wrong I was. I slowly began to understand: I need to write for me. From that point on, every time I decided to write, it felt like pieces of me were bleeding into the paper—and it set my soul on fire in the best possible way. The only problem was that I rarely ever sat down to write. I was scared. So, when I graduated high school with zero idea what my next step would be, my passion for writing started ringing in my head like an alarm. I knew it wasn’t going to shut off unless I gave it another shot. That’s when my blog 18 things i learned at 18 came to life; two days later another blog was posted. Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit. Did I just open the book that was my life? Those kinds of thoughts were the only thing running through my head those next few days as I continued to post. I was in no space to question the miracle happening within me. My voice was finally starting to reveal itself to me and I was not going to scare it away.
I’ve had a lot of dreams in my life so far; I’ve looked through a lot of different doors. The one door that always stood wide open was writing, and as a kid, I thought the other side of that door looked super boring. I wasn’t mature enough to see the the true beauty right in front of my face—I didn’t understand that it was the most exciting door of them all. However, once I did reach a point where I was able to grasp that truth, I was scared. I didn’t want to screw it up, so I didn’t even look at it. Instead, I continued the endless cycle of figuring out what I was going to do with my life—completely ignoring that the answer was right there. The answer had been there since the day I got a journal for Christmas—12 years ago—and filled the entire thing. The crazy thing about that day/journal is that was the first time I ever started a story and completely finished it. Even crazier, I remember exactly what that story was, beginning to end.
I was fourteen when I really started exploring the idea of being a writer. Like I said, I took it slow and in spurts, but fourteen is when it started. Divergent (by Veronica Roth) had just recently been released and I related to Tris—the main character—so much it scared me. She didn’t fit into one category, she was unique and that scared the hell out of the people in charge. Tris was brave, outspoken, genuine, creative, giving, caring, honest, and all around different than those surrounding her. She knew she didn’t fit in and it took her awhile to understand how good that actually was. Others looked to her for help because they knew, no matter what, she’d have their back. Tris is me…I am Tris.
After discovering Divergent, I became interested in its creator. With one google search I found her website—and holy shit was that a gold mine. The site contained 271 posts over the span of almost 6 years. And I came into the picture when over 80% of those were already published. I’m not lying when I tell you I spent two FULL days reading those posts back and forth. I studied them and took every word in. And it scared me when I realized how alike Veronica Roth and I were. I guess it made sense; she did write Tris. But, those posts were key in starting the writing-engine within my mind. For weeks I continued to read through her blog, over and over again. My confidence continued to grow—unfortunately, I never did anything with it. Fear stayed in my driver seat.
Elizabeth Gilbert took all of my fear and put it into perspective. Almost 3 years after my discovery of Veronica Roth, someone new pushed me even further. I’d already knew of her name due to the best-seller she had published in 2006—Eat, Pray, Love (I’m sure almost 100% of you have heard that title before). I still hadn’t read the book at the time I truly started paying attention to her. Instead, I watched/read every interview of her I could possibly find until her new book, Big Magic, was released. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve read that book fifteen times. And all fifteen times I learned something new. Every time I’m unsure of my creativity or the path I’ve chosen, I turn to that book—and it never fails to bring me peace. Not only is Liz an incredible writer, she’s an even better person. Although, I don’t know her personally…yet. I know she’s living the kind of life I aspire to live. I believe, with my whole heart, I’ll meet her one day, share my story and thank her for pushing me to follow my purpose (same goes for Veronica Roth).
You see, I’ve had a lot of things set me back in life. Things that stalled me from entering the one door I was always meant to. Not a single day goes by where I’m not thankful that door stayed open for so long. I also understand how lucky I am to have the soul I do. I’ve never really wanted to fit in; I didn’t agree with the cliques in high school; drinking and partying aren’t an interest of mine; I’m not in search of a relationship; and, at this point, I don’t really care what others think of me or my journey. I’m living my life, and I plan on living it however the hell I want. These blogs have been the start of what’s to come from me. A book is the next step and my posts on BellaBooza will not stop along the way.