I Am a Writer. What's Your Superpower?
I have to be honest with you. Writing isn’t something I chose to do. It reached out to me. It called me by name, low-key summoned me to enter in and pick up my sword, claim my authority, and take my throne. Being a writer is a calling. A calling one may spend many years trying to run from, but answers without even realizing you picked up the phone.
So, in the words of Ursula K. LeGuin, “When people say, Did you always want to be a writer?, I have to say no! I always WAS a writer.” I know . . . it may sound cliché, but it is true. I’m sure most writers have probably written all their lives and not realized it (or maybe they did). I can remember always writing as a child and having a journal in every room. I still do . . . sometimes multiple journals even in my car. But, if you asked me back then, if I wanted to be a writer, I probably would've given you a perplexed look. Then listed the plan I had for my life. Tell you how I aspired to be a doctor or psychologist and self-actualize as a world-renowned life coach, international life coach to be exact, and how people all over the world would benefit from my coaching and help. Yes, I wanted to save the world, one mind, spirit, and soul at a time. A writer? Hmmm . . . wasn’t on my list (I can see God and the Universe laughing now). Yet, as an adult, I own a writing firm . . . didn’t see that coming. Like seriously, how did that happen? When did that happen?
Was it when I was a youngster always writing little haikus around the house? Or, was it when I would write short stories where the main character was always the little black girl who somehow always proved resilient and survived? Was it the teenager who had composition book after composition book of poetry? It may have been directly connected to the young woman who somehow manages to create a collection of Post-its inscribed with her thoughts, affirmations, and self-quotes wherever and whenever, whether tucked under her keyboard at work, stuck to the bathroom mirror, or in the console of her car. You know writing is one of the BEST coping skills ever!
Did it happen because I am a proud self-proclaimed bookworm? Always making time to read more, so I may learn more. Was it before or after I worked diligently to get not one but two degrees in psychology? Because I was supposed to assist people on their journey through life and help them find a way to make it through anything, so they can go on and see what the end would be. Did I really only hear a guiding whisper say, “Go that way,” (pointing in the direction of words) after I walked across the stage to receive a Masters in counseling psychology practitioner track? Maybe it was the first time I walked through the door of a mental health hospital to offer my services? Or was it upon my resignation, when I decided I needed more money? Was it when I applied for that “good government job?” Because even the government needs self-care and so a therapist would always be useful—although every position I ever held in the federal government I ended up writing. From letters to the public on behalf of the White House to speeches for the commissioner of one of the largest federal agencies in our government - pretty much no direct association with my original plan.
Actually, the more I ponder it, the more I understand it. I feel words like Kanye sees music—synesthesia is what I believe it is called. In my mind, description whether written or spoken can paint some of the most beautiful pictures—painful or pleasant. Better yet, I realize the influence, authority, and command words can possess because there is an unimaginable amount of power in the tongue. I acknowledge and honor the fact that writers can comfort and confuse, inspire and discourage, give life and offer death, cast dreams and destroy realities, offer hope or hell, spread love and smother hate, ignite an audacious faith, guide through the darkest of nights, soothe hurts, and set your light ablaze. A writer can open eyes, grant understanding, allow for an escape, and can stimulate your pursuit of not just happiness but peace. I respect this power. I respect it enough to know that it is safer and best to use words cautiously without fear because the same words that can build up have the power to tear down—imagine being sifted like wheat.
So, no wonder, here I am, looking back at my life realizing that those moments, including but not limited to the ones listed above, when I was a young writer unrealized, led me down the yellow brick road ultimately back home . . . to my first love, writing. So, I AM A WRITER. What’s your superpower?