There is nothing more satisfying than sitting in front of a white page eagerly awaiting to be filled with love and loss- tales of anything and everything. The white page is sacred. It demands nothing and everything. All it wants is for someone to come along and scribble down the loud thoughts in her heads, giving it purpose and life. It’s kinda crazy how one person’s inner cognitions that rattle around in her brain only to be spit out on a white page can suddenly become art. It is for the white page that I write.
As a child, I was never satisfied by the cutesy little sentences our teachers made us write out for “Before School Work.” Phrases such as “Mike picked the ball up” and “Suzy ate her lunch” were commonly used to teach us how to form sentences and express our thoughts. But why are Mike and Suzy important? Who cares if Mike picked up the ball and Suzy ate her lunch? There is so much more to them then those simple sentences could ever express and I wanted to know more.
The first time I was ever allowed to express this “more” that I so desperately craved was in Mrs. Feinberg’s fourth grade. Our teacher announced that as we had mastered the Hamburger Essay Organizer it was now time for us to write. However, she understood that every child was at a different place in terms of writing. Therefore, she never assigned the whole class the same essay and refused to place impending due dates for them. Instead, she would give a child the next prompt when she was finished with the last one. This was where I was allowed to pick up my little Ticonderoga No. 2 pencil and write. And boy, did I write. It’s honestly surprising that she didn’t get sick of reading my essays. I probably wrote about 30 essays that year while all of my other classmates complained about how boring the exercise was, struggling through the first, second and third prompt. It was here that I knew writing was for me. Someone can teach a child to form sentences, how to organize an essay and how to answer a prompt, but only the child can become a writer.
From there on, I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. This writing placed me into the Honors English track for my entire high school career, allowed me to bond with one of my favorite teachers and provided me with an AP credit that I could use in the future at college. But writing was never about getting the perfect grades or finding a way to save money on a class in college. Writing was about me.
See the thing about writing is that it doesn’t answer back. I sit and spit all of the thoughts from my head on the page and there is no judgment. The white page can’t look at me with those small black eyes, a crinkling forehead and make a bitchy comment such as “Well I guess you just see the world slightly differently from me, darling.” Instead, the page takes my thoughts and displays them for me to read, evaluate and learn from. It understands that life is hard and confusing and that some days I just want to curl up under my covers and sleep for hours, numbing the pain inside of my soul. The white page stands there as I express emotions of love and feeling on top of the world, experiencing my high with me but never pulling the spotlight away me. It never changes and is consistently there for me in a world that is always moving around me, leaving my head spinning and my heart raising.
The best part of writing is that it allows me to express myself without fear. I don’t have to worry about making my sentences perfect, as I can always go back and change them later. That’s the thing about being a perfectionist, I can’t stand to mess to up. Speaking in public is hard when one stutter or misspoken word can ruin a train of thought and completely change the meaning of one’s message. I’ve never been good at expressing myself vocally to others. Instead, I write to share my emotions and fears and wishes for the future. I write because I can’t speak. I write because my head is a prison where thoughts become suffocated due to not being able to break free out of my mouth. Instead, they emerge as my neurons fire causing my hands to move. For the white page, the little girl in fourth grade who couldn’t stop, and for a peace of mind for myself, I write.