I have never been good at expressing myself. Don’t know if it’s my slightly introverted personality (I tend to run the gamut of the introvert/extrovert spectrum) or my slight speech impediment or maybe my dislike of other people knowing my emotional/mental states. I am betting on the last one, but again who really knows. Of course, this unwillingness to really express myself verbally did not exactly help with making friends, much less with wooing, or even talking to, the fairer sex. How I befriended anyone in high school is a mystery that still baffles me. Writing, however, was a medium that I excelled in, at least in high school.
I could not speak exactly what I wanted to, but given a pen and a blank sheet and the odd sentences and thoughts in my head flowed into a sense of coherence and intelligence. I went from babbling buffoon to something resembling a confident human being; on paper. I performed well in school, partly due to my writing, but there was never really a way for it to help my non-academic life, other than letting me charge large sums of money for writing essays and completing projects for others. Well, it was not helpful until the day I finally wrote a letter to a girl. I know horribly cliche and pathetic, but trust me that for me, especially at that age, that was a huge move.
Her name was Maricela. I had known her since the 2nd grade and had been friends with her since 6th grade. What can I say? I was a young stupid kid who thought girls were weird and gross till middle school. Funny enough the way we became closer friends was because another friend of mine was interested in her and was using me as a way in. Obviously, they did not work out, but for some reason she and I ended up becoming close friends. We would spend time with each other and have random conversations about every imaginable topic, but there was no interest beyond friendship from either one of us. At least, until our junior/senior year of high school.
I became romantically interested in one of my best friends and I had no idea how to tell her. Unfortunately, it was a mute point as a mutual acquaintance was also interested in her and she was still hung up on an ex. Even worse, we were each other’s confidantes. So we were the people that we would have discussed the idiotic, teenage angst bullshit we were both experiencing. It was difficult, but eventually we both realized what the other was going through. (We were both pretty good at reading people. I was better and probably still am but that is not truly relevant to this…) I knew what advice she really needed and I also knew I was probably the only one that would give it to her. However, I, as usual, was a bit of a pansy back then and instead wrote out what I wanted to say. I will not post the letter here nor will I repeat what I wrote because that particular piece is not just my story. The overall gist was that I understood what she was going through and that she needed to finally confront both her unresolved feelings and the guy they were attached to. I told her to go for it because she would never be content until she could get some sense of closure from her past. Basically, I told her to go after the guy she still had feelings for, so yes I know how much of an ass I am…I mean was.
The next day she took my advice to heart and went after what she wanted. It did not end quite the way she wanted, but it ended which was enough for her. No, I did not date her after that moment, at least not immediately which is a whole another story to discuss. What I took away from this event was how much impact what I had written had on a person. It was the first time that I had seen a non-academic and tangible effect of something I had created. To be honest, that event had more of an impact on me than the eventual relationship with her did; a positive effect anyways. Writing did not get me the girl (yet) but it gave me a chance that had not existed before.
This story of Maricela and writing is not quite over but will be by next week. Hope you enjoy it.
The Sentry Gathers…