My students at school are amazed that I am an author. The idea of wanting to write is foreign to them. They write when given a prompt. They write because they have to. Sadly, they struggle to imagine. The concept of pretending does not come easy to them. They don’t know where to begin. Not knowing where to begin is a problem authors can identify with. I find that the best place to start is my own jumbled thoughts on life.
I recently groused on Facebook that I am not too thrilled about “the new normal.” I didn’t even know that term until a few months ago. For those of you as uniformed as I, it simply means the way things will be for the foreseeable future. It marks a life change such as the death of a loved one or a new way of life such as everyone being glued to a cell phone. In short, things have changed and they aren’t going back.
As I age, I am not thrilled with the new normals in my life. I don’t like missing people. I don’t like everyone’s noses stuck in their cell phones and not talking. I don’t understand the need to let everyone know every move you make on Facebook. And, perhaps most of all, I am not thrilled with the constant testing of kids and the craziness of the Common Core. Enough already!
Now that I have complained, I confess that there are new normals that I like. I love spell check. I enjoy being able to email things instead of having to snail mail them-but I love getting letters in the mail. I like knowing that if my car breaks down, I can quickly call AAA.
I think that the new normal I really have a problem with is me getting older. I look back at pictures of things in the 60’s and it makes me want to cry. My closest friend’s father recently passed away. He was 90. He was also the last person alive I knew on the street I grew up on. He was a link to my childhood. He was my friend’s father and if he was alive, a part of us could still be children. I saw some of my friends at the funeral. We talked about then and we talked about now. We talked about how we became who we are. We talked about the journey of life.
So, what does all this have to do with writing? Everything. I have a lifetime of stories to tell, lessons learned and things imagined. Every day that passed was filled with stories waiting to be told. We all think we are just marking time here on this planet, hoping to leave it a bit better off. I believe we all have gifts to share. Maybe authors and future authors are all little sponges soaking up the stories of life. I smile as I realize that I am much closer to the end of my life than I am to its beginning, but I still am deciding what I want to do when I grow up.