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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Notes from the Countryside

I got away from the city for a bit and it was a nice change. I went up to a place where mosquitoes mate freely (unlike some Young People who Fuck...) and feast on our blood like the Vampyres of old. A great many times I likened it to being set at the edge of a Horror flick - with its long, rolling fields and looming Canadian forests - hell, if we got lost out there it wouldn't be pretty.

Well, except for the part where I still had 5 bars on my cell phone about 5 miles deep into the woods. Talk about your creep-killer.

We explored some caves and stalked through the timberland in search of some sort of adventure. Short of muddy shoes and a good deal of swollen, itchy appendages we ended up coming out of it a-okay (much to our chagrin...).

I've been thinking alot lately about how I came to be a writer and how my life would've been different had I chosen to follow that path alone instead of wandering all over Hell's half-acres like I have. You see, back when I was a kid - like 5 or 6 - I used to love to write, even won an award or something for it (my mom's got the medal packed away somewhere).

They said I was a 'very imaginative' child and they thought I'd have a great future as a writer. Of course I had other ideas - I wanted to be an artist. Well, actually I wanted to be a Robotics Technician but only because I liked the sound of the words, I had no idea what the job actually entailed. I knew I loved to draw though, that was a big thing for me. Writing, meh, it was just something I did, drawing was what WOWed people.

And so I spent most of my time doodling in school, never paying attention to the compliments I'd be getting on my essays and ignoring the marks I was getting for my written work. Writing was just something I did - if I needed an essay I'd wait until the night before and bang something out, confident I'd at least pull out a B.

Gawd, looking back on it I feel like smacking that young kid around a bit.

I ended up going to college for Art and Design - again, getting exempted from the College-level English course based off an essay I threw together in under an hour. I never respected the gift that I had been given and the part that kills me is that I never PUSHED it.

Until now.

I sit here looking at my screen some nights just wondering where I'd have been had I recognized what I had. Or if someone had recognized what I had and pushed or guided me. Would I be established by now? Would I be a well-known writer?

Or would I still be that quiet, removed, loner kid who was afraid to talk to anyone?

Yeah, there's a better question: Who would I be? I mean, the respect that I've gained - not just for my writing, but for all writing - has taken a long time to reach me, it took me a long time to realize that this is my calling. But I think the respect that I've learned is more important because of that. I can say, undoubtedly, that who I am now is because of the people I've met along the way, because of all the paths I've trod to get here.

And, frankly, I like who I am now.

Yet there are days when I'm typing away or bashing my head against that imaginary brick wall when I can't help but wonder where I'd be had I not squandered my gift for so long.

Though maybe 'squandered' is a bit too harsh a word. It took me a while to get here but I did manage to earn a wicked story or two to tell along the way. And really, isn't that what being a writer's all about?

Cheers,
Brandon

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