“Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”

My dear James Michener, I’d like to thank you for giving me, when I was about 17 years old, this quote that so describes why I love the art of writing. Before then, I don’t think I had anything to describe it so accurately. But now, if only you could give me the secret to tangling with human emotions once again…

When I was a senior in high school, I spent a few months working in a family friend’s law firm, and he commented to me one day about how the art of writing is like the art of law: you never fully perfect it. That’s why it’s called “the practice of law”—and, therefore also, the “practice” of writing. It’s been ages, though, since I’ve really felt like I’ve practiced it. There’s no right or wrong way to go about it; I guess even this blog post counts as a form of practice. But does it take me anywhere?

It’s hard to write when I’m not sure of what to say. Because, see, the thing about writing is that it’s supposed to be me, creating, and speaking, and leaving an imprint of myself on the world. But I have no idea anymore of what that imprint looks like. Not should look like, but does look like. I’ve felt very much lately like I don’t know myself, and that’s a very unhealthy place for me to be. I’ve had some bad days within the last couple of weeks, very down days, and I think it comes most directly from a place of insecurity, that is fueled by this idea that I don’t know who I am, what makes me me. Maybe that’s why I love songs like Billy Joel’s “Vienna” and magazines like Bella Grace so much: they tell me what I wish the world would tell me more: that I need to slow down, pause, take a few minutes and a few deep breaths.

But the reasons why I want to be told to slow down… “Slow down, you crazy child. You’re so ambitious for a juvenile.” I don’t know if they’re true, or if I only wish they were.

I’m also that type of person who wants to know what the world thinks of her, and particularly in this romanticized way that probably only exists in poetry. I want to be the type of girl that inspires quotes like the ones I find on Pinterest, like these:

she walked in moon dust
and stars were sprinkled
in her hair

[Unknown]

❤︎

She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world.

[Joanne Harris]

❤︎❤︎

Maybe I am that kind, and maybe I’m not, and probably I’m better off not knowing one way or the other, because it could very well be the mystery there that makes it beautiful.

As for me…

“Who in the world am I?”

— Alice

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