8-29-10

“Well, of course Aunt March prefers Amy over me. Why shouldn’t she? I’m ugly and awkward and I always say the wrong things. I fly around throwing away perfectly good marriage proposals. I love our home, but I’m just so fitful and I can’t stand being here! I’m sorry, I’m sorry Marmee. There’s just something really wrong with me. I want to change, but I – I can’t. And I just know I’ll never fit in anywhere.” Little Women.

As a young child, I would read to escape the harsh realities of this world. When I was in a book, I could be anywhere I wanted to be. I could be anyone I wanted to be. I could be a queen or a peasant. I could be good or evil. I could have a loving and adoring family or none at all. I could be anything in a book. The ability to become whatever I wanted spoke to me. I would read for hours becoming different characters from different centuries. I could be the daughter of Sally Hemings in A Wolf by the Ear or Emily Starr in Emily of New Moon. I could be Sojourner Truth or Be from Song of Be. I could be anybody I wanted to be. Reading allowed me to travel to countries and galaxies that I had never heard of. It allowed me to examine the depths of my soul while reaching beyond what was possible into the complete unknown. I could relate to most characters in books in one way or another. Maybe I was feeling a little malevolent that day, so I became Scarlett from Gone With the Wind. Sometimes when I felt sad, disheartened, and disconnected, I would become Emily from Emily of New Moon. But no one spoke to me the same way Jo March did in Little women. I could not relate to anyone, the way I did to her. The loves and betrayal she felt from her family. The happiness yet overwhelming sadness, at seeing the world move while she stood, seemly, stagnate. Nothing open my heart and calmed my spirit the way her story did. I would lie awake counting the similarities between us. I loved to write and so did she. I had three sisters and so did she. Jo was a character after my own heart, so to speak, and I would always think: If Jo can do it so can I. And I can. Whenever I grow angry and am ready to give up on the world, I remember Jo. How she felt singled out and forgotten. How she felt unimportant. I remember what she did with those feelings and I write. I write through the hurt, betrayal and sadness. I write of the happiness and joy. I write because I am. And I am because I write. I am happy and joyous. I am loving and caring. I am emotional and empathic because I write. And I write because all of those emotions need and outlet. They need to be expressed and heard. Therefore, I write. Sometimes I write nonsense other times I write gibberish, but occasionally, I write of the kernel of wisdom life has bestowed upon. And I shall continue to write until my last breathe has been forced from my being. And like Jo I will find my happy ending or like Jane Austin I will write my own.