During my 11th year on this planet, I moved from Metairie, Louisiana to Conyers, Georgia. I was not happy.
From my outward appearance, I smiled, nodded, still used my manners, but inside I was confused.
Why were we moving here?
Why did we have to leave family?
I had so many friends there. Why? Why? Why?
I was also mad. My mom showed me around the new house with carpeted floors, my own room, a large front and backyard.
“It’s on the highest point in the neighborhood,” Mom said.
I think I may have rolled my eyes at this.
“You have all your stuff in your room already,” Mom said.
“Great,” I said.
But inside, I didn’t feel so great. I felt out of sorts, like I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I wasn’t feeling too happy about the move. In fact, it made me feel angry…
… and that was when I discovered something that helped with that feeling.
It was the moment when I looked inside one of my toy boxes and saw an 8″x10″ pad of purple paper with a white butterfly on it and dark purple ruled lines. It was a pad of paper my mom had given to me as a gift.
I hadn’t thought much about writing before. I mostly enjoyed playing with my friends outside or entertaining myself with records like “Hey Mickey!” or the Pointer Sisters.
As I sat in my room, staring at the purple lined paper, I decided to start writing.
I wanted to express what I was feeling inside.
What came out was a poem titled “Beautiful.”
I wish I could say that I still had this poem, but I don’t.
What I can say is that I started to realize I felt better after I wrote the poem. It was the first of many.
I wrote poems, journal entries, rap songs that I sent to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (I never received a reply), and I wrote stories.
Several years later, I’m still writing.
Recently, I started writing a book. One challenge with writing the book is that I had to dive back into the stories that were painful and dig them out of me to put on paper.
One story was about how I made choices in my marriage, how I felt like a loser because I spent 10 years trying to get a bachelor’s degree, and how I had no hope, no vision for my future at one point in time. Another story that I wanted to retell was one where I felt that I was floating on the waves of the ocean, letting them carry me here and there, but feeling like I was drowning and not getting anywhere in my life.
As I wrote these stories, I began to see a pattern.
Subtle at first, then it was staring me right in my face.
The reason why I had made those choices was because I was trying to find what I’ve always wanted in my life. I realized that what I wanted most was love and a family.
This had eluded me so often. I would take steps towards it, but not fully listen to what God was saying to me.
When I accepted marriage, I wound up with a family and a version of love that I can’t even say was love. I was trying to fit that person inside my vision without being fully clear about what my vision of family and love was at the time.
The results were that I wound up with a realization of what I didn’t want. That did help me see what I did want, but there are much easier ways of seeing what you want. I don’t recommend going through a painful marriage to see what you want in your soul mate.
When I saw the pattern that was forming around my choices, I realized how to get out of that pattern. It was staring me in the face so glaringly that I just had to take a step back, write down the story and then see what was going on.
When I wrote the story down, God told me to ask a question. Sure, I was getting the story out of me, but He also had me ask: What do I want? What did I want from this situation I just wrote about?
When I started asking myself these questions, I realized that I had chosen to be married because I wanted love and a family. I didn’t care with who, I just wanted to be settled down and secure.
When I realized I had repeated this pattern again in another relationship, that was when I became aware of my choice based on these desires after I wrote about them.
That was also when I realized what I truly wanted from a relationship and that I could have that if I was willing to wait for it.
By journaling and writing, I have discovered so many things about myself, have healed, brought in miracles, and have communicated with people from across the globe to help them with hope and God’s creative vision for their life.
One thing I have learned about writing is that you don’t need anyone around you to do it. You basically need a pad of paper and a pencil or pen. You can speak freely when you write, knowing that whatever you put on the paper is for your eyes only. You can express yourself to your fullest, whatever you want to say.
And you can find peace, healing, hope in the words you put on the paper. Write your story and ask: What do I want? What did I want from this situation?