The Writerly One

I’m pretty sure my husband secretly hates taking me out to dinner… I have no proof of this, mind you. He hasn’t said anything like that, but I have a feeling. Why, you ask?

Well… *smiles angelically*

Last time we went out, I spent half the evening watching observing a family in crisis at a nearby table. Well, I don’t know for a fact that they were in crisis. Maybe just the father. And possibly the daughter. Mom and brother were just trying to hold it all together, I think. Basically, I kept a close eye on them for a good hour and had their life stories figured out. Or so I think. 

I was also keeping an eye on a couple next to us on their first—or maybe second if we’re being liberal—date. I mean really. Only newly-mets have these kinds of convos over dinner:

“So what do you like to do?” *girl stares adoringly at guy*

“Well…” *guy smiles awkwardly* “I like camping a lot.”

“Really? That’s neat! So do you like camping close to water or what?”

“Yeah. I like fishing too.”

“Cool…”

First date? I think so?

The time before that, I was engrossed in a meet-parents-situation. Y’all, that girl was in love with her guy and before dinner was over (my dinner, not theirs), so were her parents. Here’s to happy futures, people. 

I have also been known to get into delightfully random conversations in bookstores and coffee shops… and Walmart. And when I do, I relish the witty retelling of it all when I get home. 

You see, folks, I am addicted to stories. And I haven’t the faintest interest in getting help.

Because my humble opinion, the writer life is the best life. 

Hands down.

I can walk into a room full of people, observe the goings-on for two minutes and walk out with enough to keep myself entertained for hours. I am rarely bored. If something isn’t interesting enough in its own right, I can usually make it interesting in my head. 

Like the insurance meeting I attended Tuesday. Along with all the important, but dull-as-dirt information I needed to make an adult decision about health insurance, I walked out of that room with a fantastic little snippet of dialogue for a story, a great point of conflict for a story, and at least three potential character inspirations. And I couldn’t even stay for the whole meeting. 

Never bored, I tell you. Never bored. 

Granted, it’s not always easy… Not trying to be dramatic or anything, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t sometimes feel a bit misunderstood. Ugh. The misunderstood artist. How cliche, right? 

But really… Let’s just be honest for a moment.

Being a writer makes it easy to appear dense and/or dim-witted in certain situations. 

Like when it takes me ten minutes to compose an email that would take my coworker forty seconds to shoot off to someone who cares far more about the attached document than the email itself. 

Or when I have to write down, in my own words, how to do something before I can remember how—or even remember to do—it. 

Or when I basically just repeat myself in conversation because, in my head, I’m rewording what I just said to make it sound better. 

Or when I babble about like a sheer fool on the phone, but sound like a pro in an email. You know… the one that took me ten minutes to write.

It really hard, sometimes, knowing that there’s more to me than what most people see. Knowing that the everyday things I do don’t exactly reflect my capabilities. Sometimes, in those awkward moments when I spend too much time on an email, don’t seem to fully understand what I’ve just been told, or when I babble and repeat myself, I just want to say, “This isn’t all there is to me, you know. If you could just see me doing what I love… what I’ve studied… what drives me… You wouldn’t look at me like that. You wouldn’t be taking that tone with me.”

It’s a daily struggle.

But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Because the writerly life has given me so much more than it has taken from me.

It has led me to seek out joy and truth and humor and life in even the seemingly most insignificant moments… like in the checkout line at Walmart… or in the courtroom waiting to be called (or not called) for jury duty. It is in these little moments that you will find the most important stories. The ones that, I believe, need to be told. 

I consider it my job to tell them. 

I consider it my job to share them. 

I consider it my job to capture life. 

I am one of the writerly ones, and I’ve got some stories to tell. 

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