#WhyIWrite: Oct 20th, 2015

Today is apparently National Writing Day and I’ve been screwing around with this post for a while. It’s time for it to grow some wings, so here y’all go!

It’s always struck me as strange that we’re on this earth for a relatively long amount of time, and by the time we die we’ve barely uncovered anything about other people, let alone ourselves.

I want to learn. All the time. It’s not always good learning though, and I think that’s something that can get overlooked. Or rather, all learning is good learning in a way, but at the time it can be difficult and scary.

As a kid I wanted to be a lot of things. A pirate. The president. Goofy the dog. I had endless imagination only curtailed by the inevitable loss of innocence that is occurs for all children. I still kind of want to be a pirate, since they had a lot more equality for women on ships back then than on the mainland and they were pretty democratic, but I’ve since given up on the idea of being president or Goofy. I decided both would be disappointments. Being president doesn’t actually guarantee that you can actually fix the world, and Goofy is, you know, completely imaginary.

My point is that I had infinite possibilities slowly disappear as I grew up. It was a slow process that I’m only ever fully aware of on long nights when I think back on how much I’ve experienced in a short life.

But I think this loss of innocence is why I keep wanting to learn, and is also why I keep writing. I’m constantly looking for something new, not necessarily to replace my childhood fantasies, but to keep the disappointment of my newfound lack of imagination at bay. I’m not particularly good at writing stories or novels, so I keep going with the blog-like prose in hopes that through writing I can learn more about myself and maybe teach some other people things too.

Today I received an email from myself from four years ago (through futureme.org, I don’t even remember writing it). In it I told future Dharani that I wished I could be better at writing. It’s fitting that today is National Writing Day, as I’ve been reminding myself today that the only way I’ll improve is to keep at it. Sometimes it’s like the little sibling I’ve never had that won’t leave me alone and frustrates me to all hell (shoutout to tha big sis), but most of the time it’s relatively rewarding and helps me out on bad days (yes I just complimented myself through comparing myself to writing, I am a great lil sestra). My point is that it’s very much part of my identity, whether I like it or not.

In the wise words of the fantastic Joss Whedon, “I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.” I would also add that I write to explore all the things I don’t know yet, so I’m going to be doing this for awhile.

Happy National Writing Day, everyone!

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