Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Chronicle of Me and the Written Words

I write for too many reasons, or maybe no reason at all. Nevertheless, I am glad that I write, for whatever reason it might be.

Arguably, the first reason why I write is because I appreciated my first name with enmity as a child. Other kids, with their raw creativity, would call me names – or, to be exact, a consumer brand and a mountain of Japanese origin, and that annoyed me to no end. I wished for a more "girly" first name to complement my last name that I found to be gorgeous.

So, shortly after my baby sister was born, I used the book of baby names my mum had, to began writing by making up new names for me and imagining what will become of me in prettier first names. Later on, I realised that I have made up way too many names for myself, so I began writing stories to make the most of the overflowing name supply. Unlike J. K. Rowling, who recalls her first story to be titled "Rabbit", probably my first pieces of work were the homework I submitted as a first grader.

But, then, I knew that there were so much more I can write, since I have been reading too. My mum subscribed to a children magazine for me and it opened a lot of windows to the world. I read when I eat and my mum used to snap at me for that habit. I spent my school break, as well as the free time if I came early to school, reading at the library. In the school bus, I would borrow the text books from my senior and read them on the way to school. I took notes during class thoroughly and revised them almost every night. At the end of every term, the school would require the students to buy text books for the next term, and I would spend my holiday reading them – as well as making summaries out of them – when I had no places to go for recreation. My, do I sound like a nerd already?

By the time I reached secondary school, I have written stories in various length, poems, and – of course – regular updates in my diary. I didn't revise my school notes as often as I did back in primary school because I had started to plunge myself into the realm of extracurricular activities, that includes me skipping classes to join regional competitions. I screwed in math but my scores in languages and social science subjects were not bad, so I decided to take social science major in my eleventh grade.

Next thing I know, I was a part of the school's English debating team, and that means extra reading in the name of motion researches as well as more concise-writing for cases the team were building. The routine later on developed my interest in critical thinking, so I started to write not only about what I feel, but also what I think, on whatever that tickles my fancy. I posted those thoughts in my blog, which now I keep as private, because most of the posts are pretty juvenile and I prefer to preserve that for myself since I have grown out of that anyway.

Given the fact that I have been enjoying reading and writing, it was almost clear to me in my teenage days, what major should I take in college. Yes, literature. However, one of my secondary school English teacher told me not to take literature as my major, since it would be important for people to be (somewhat) omnipotent in years to come, so I should instead consider other possibilities to conquer. As reading has been making me eager to see the world, I thought that being a diplomat was the best career path I could possibly take. However, it was, among others, my passion to write, that brought me to a decision to study communication sciences.

Today, I write magazine articles for a living. It is indeed quite pleasurably interesting to do what you love and having that considered as work. However, the routine also reminds me once again that written words do expand horizons, and that is one of the reasons why people read. As a writer, I am aware of this immense responsibility of so-called “enlightening people”, and sometimes it becomes a professional burden. This makes me also write outside of work. Writing for myself brings me enormous joy, as it liberates me from the aforementioned sentiments and particular state(s) of mind that could possibly weigh me down.

Let me tell you one thing: I over-think, almost all the time. As overwhelming at it may sound, over-thinking makes one inundated with ideas inside their heads, that spark wild guesses on what might be, and it makes me worry a lot in my life. I found that to be toxic sometimes. Worry hurts not only one's self-confidence, but also their optimism on the silver lining.

Thankfully, writing becomes as a powerful remedy for me. As I pour my overflowing thoughts into words, I discharge the worry away, leaving me ready to embrace whatever possibility is coming. When my worry is written, I have already made some sort of distance with it, putting it away from me. I also write when I am engulfed with certain feeling(s), which may form some substantial matters to furthermore elaborate them. Once I wrote because I was touched by the love I (and many other people I talked to) have for my country's culinary charm, and some other time I put my eagerness into words on the importance of talking about sex. My written pieces of worry, as well as other forms of emotion, serve me as a reminder on what I have been through, that I overcame them eventually and today I can feel glad that I have experienced and been personally enriched by them.

However, there is also a slightly bright side of over-thinking, if I may call it so, which is the flood of ideas that might come to me in a speed of light. Being as easily forgetful as a human being can be, I feel the need to preserve them so they do not go to waste. Therefore, I try to conserve my ideas as soon as possible by putting them into words.

On another note, speaking of letting something, or actually anything at all, to go down the drain, I believe that it is a form of ingratitude. I mean, since most people already believe that everything happens for a reason, we might as well agree that it is the same circumstance with ideas. There are reasons why human beings have senses, mind, and ability to think, and I believe that not making the most of them is also a waste, and doing so means one is ungrateful for what they have been given. Also, things I observe – see, taste, feel, listen to, even smell – often get my thoughts wandering and I feel the need to document the trip to express my gratitude about it. 

Living is easy with eyes closed, said The Beatles, but I believe that if you can open your eyes to see, enjoy, and cherish things that makes your life worth living, why not?