For two years, I’ve been asked why I write.
Well, no. That’s not completely accurate. I don’t really get asked why I write. Instead, I get asked why I write here. For you.
I suppose it’s one thing to write for yourself; about your life…about your struggles…about your fears…and lock it away in some private space. But it’s an entirely different thing to write a book…to write online…to write for the entire world to see.
And so, for two years, you’ve asked…and now, two years later…I’ll answer; it’s not pretty…it’s not romantic…and it’s not eloquent. But it is the truth.
I write because – when I was young – I used to have an imaginary friend. My imaginary friend had a quiet, invisible voice. And that voice made living in this world a lot easier for me.
I often felt very alone as a little girl. As though, I had somehow been dropped somewhere that I wasn’t meant to be. I would watch everyone around me make friendships…make plans…make room to belong. And I never felt like one of them.
I had beautiful people in my life…but something always felt different. Every connection always felt somewhat at arm’s length.
I was never someone’s safety net. I was never someone’s best friend. I was never someone’s first choice. Even if they were mine.
And loneliness became a very real thing for me.
If we’re being super honest here…this early feeling of disconnect left me with an insecurity that looks a little something like this…
There is a constant underlying belief within me that I care more about others than they do about me.
I feel like the person who is easy to forget about. The person who is easy to walk away from. The person who can lift out of other people’s lives without them even noticing.
And for a long time, it made something inside of me physically hurt. It brought a pain that never really went away. It haunted every friendship that I had.
But with age and with God, I learned to become more at ease with my sense of separateness. A knowing began to fill my soul that I was never really alone at all…and most of the time, I felt okay.
Until I wasn’t okay.
Until the days when I would remember that I’ve never been in someone’s wedding party. Or that I’m not the friend that someone calls when something exciting happens to them. Or that I’ll never be a collection of inside jokes from a lifetime of growing up together.
It’s in those times when the aching spaces would feel very deep and very hollow.
But it’s also been in those times that I’ve come to realize that – for some of us – relationships can be a very polarizing experience.
We crave it and we fear it.
We are healed by it and we are destroyed by it.
We need it and we resist it.
And somewhere in the middle, lies that innate desire we possess to be tethered to solid ground.
But, when I was a little girl…I didn’t know how to sit through that discomfort. I didn’t know how to understand my place in this world. I didn’t know that – even in isolation – we could find strength together. So, I created someone who did.
That someone had a quiet, invisible voice and was the embodiment of two words that made me feel a lot less alone…
And that’s often all it took. The simple knowledge that I wasn’t standing in the shadows by myself.
And because of this…I write. Here. For you.
I write because of the air that lingers between us. I write because of the truth that lives in that space where one of us ends and the other begins. I write because in our own unique way…we’re all connected.
I write because I believe these are two of the most powerful words in the English language. Two words that blow over us and wrap us in the comfort of all our common threads. Two words that can reach down into the darkness and pull us all from the wreckage.
But in order for those words to exist…someone needs to blink first.
And so I write.
I write because I have come to believe that sometimes – we all need an invisible, quiet voice to share the most beautiful of whispers…