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Live, Laugh, Write About It

July 23, 2015

PROMPT: Why I Write


Like when my father comes home to his dieting wife carrying a bag containing three kinds of ice cream, comfort is an enabler. Not as obvious as Triple Chocolate Chunk, comfort has a way of keeping you exactly where you are. And why would you question what makes you feel safe, what makes you feel successful? People don’t find it comforting to think about where they’ll sleep tonight if the answer is uncertain. By having constants in our lives, we are comforted.


    As a quiet yet happy kid, I found comfort in silence. Books became my closest companions because they put up a wall that muffled the sound coming from the world. This is not to say that I harbored a hatred for those around me, but rather I was the child who read on the playground and liked the way that the text sounded in my head as I sat on the swings and felt the sun drape its light across my shoulders.


    Occasionally, I would glance up and see my living friends kicking up mulch and breathing in life, and I would be motivated to join them. The monkey bars became my activity of choice. I felt like a daring heroine swinging over danger as I earned myself calluses and the occasional bruise from plummeting to the ground below. As thrilling as this was, I always returned to my book and got lost in another world again, but knowing exactly how it felt to be breathless made reading that much more like I was inserting myself into the protagonist’s skin.


    I cannot possibly tell you or anyone else when I started writing. All I know is that one day I began to tell stories through paper, and I have not yet stopped, and that is what makes me a writer. One of the biggest perks to this hobby (although it is such a part of my life that the word does not convey the significance writing has to me)  is that I can explore worlds that I am constructing with my mind. My mother, when she notes that I am taking a stroll through my mind, offers to the world that I am in “Sarah Land,” and she is correct in a way. I could live inside my head forever, if only I was given necessities like paper and pencils with erasers, and a few other things such as food and water.


    However, writing forces me to look up at the world in order to jot down its being. I need to feel the grass between my toes in order to describe the way it makes my skin itch later. I need to go to a restaurant I’ve never sat down in and order the calamari so that I can convey my horror at the texture that greeted my mouth. We are often told to write what we know, and because of this I must storm into the world and live, if only for a little while.


    I write in order to convince myself that I am missing being an active participant in the world, and in turn I value the comfort of home all that much more. When I return with new experiences to capture on paper, such as how the rose garden on High Street has a creek hiding behind the gazebo, or that there’s a street downtown with turrets on every roof, and for some reason that fills me with joy, I can say to my own surprise that I am honestly living life by looking for beauty everywhere, whether it be in the quaint or the remarkable. Because in truth, there is beauty worth capturing with words everywhere I go, but in order to even begin to make a dent in all this wonder, I have to venture beyond comfort. And rather than say goodbye, because I write, I can simply say “I’ll see you later, and I’ll have so much more to talk about.”


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