My crazy ‘20’s
I’ve always felt that the decade known as my 20’s was my classroom. That crazy decade where at times I felt like an out of place shoe.
My 20’s gave me a lot of things but there are three that I’ll remember most – Love, Loss and Death.
We all have that one moment in our lives where everything happens at once. I’ll bet mine was no different than yours.
It was as if I was on a non-stop emotional roller-coaster ride that never seemed to end.
Something was missing
My 20’s grounded me in many ways, forcing me to grow up. But at the same time I remember having a feeling that something was missing.
An odd sort of feeling in the pit of my stomach that I should be doing more. I felt restless, bored and lost and I didn’t know why.
Looking back it’s easy to see why I was feeling these things. But many of us wear blinders at certain times in our life.
Caught up in the moment where life is traveling at the speed of sound and there’s no time to listen.
When I was 24 I went back to college. On a whim I signed up for a creative writing class. The teacher was Ms. Keil. She had a reputation for being strict and demanding and boy, was she ever.
A 1000 Words
But Ms. Keil and her demanding ways are not what I remember. What sticks out to me after all these years is a 1000 word short story she assigned on our first day.
We were told to write a silly story. Her words not mine. We were given 20 minutes and not a second longer.
I can still see her staring at the time on the clock and giving us all a long stare. A panic rose from within.
I hadn’t written in years and was worried her long stare would soon be aimed at me. But on that day something happened and I was never the same again.
I wrote a silly little story about a used car and all the people who owned it. The protagonist was the car.
He explained to the reader the owners who came and went and how they treated him.
When I finished I had the strangest feeling. I was no longer restless or bored or lost. It was as if the floodgates pushed away all the bad stuff I could never seem to shake.
And it all happened in 20 minutes.
Writing and Reading
In that moment a domino effect occurred. I wrote more and I read more. I began to understand a need that I had ignored.
I had no idea that creativity was a huge part of who I am.
In the coming months my anxiety lowered and my ability to branch out and meet new people increased. Some might say it was all a part of growing up but I knew better.
Does writing a short story really change your life?
Never be afraid to create even if you’re the only one who does. Be the weird one, the oddball or any other name you may hear. It’s okay to be all those.
All you’re being is you.