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A Thousand Words

I sit down to write a thousand words. It has been a long time. Things happen; life happens, and it gets in the way of doing what I love. I have missed it. The writing comes slowly but it comes, and I remember how. I won’t tell you why I stopped. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I am writing now.

There are lots of reasons to stop doing what you love: most of them bad. I won’t list them, I couldn’t write them all in a thousand words, but they all have one thing in common; they make you forget. They make you forget who you are because you are what you love.

So, I write. Not because it will win me fame, or praise or even understanding. I write for writing sake: a reason known only to a writer. I sit, and I type my thousand words, so little; no amount of words would be enough. I could write until I fell into exhaustion, sleep and then write again. I write. It’s not what I am: it’s who I am.

Lately I have forgotten. I have felt sad. There are fancier words; university words, but I don’t feel well-educated and fancy right now: I feel sad. I have forgotten who I am, and I can’t remember. I know my name. It seems to me that that used to mean something. It’s just a word now. And that makes me sad. I don’t know how to feel better. I don’t know how to remember. All I know how to do is write a thousand words.

Maybe you are not a writer. You could be one of any number of things, it is who you are, not what you do. I imagine you, like me, are not just one thing, but many, and they all define you. It might be easier if when you are asked, “Who are you?” a one-word answer would be so much simpler, but we weren’t made simply. However, for a thousand words, let us be reader and writer, and speak in those terms. And let us pretend that what we are talking about is small and see where we are at the end of my thousand words. Because I’m not sure who I am, or why I am sad, but I would like to be able to answer those questions.

As reader and writer, we have a connection, an intimacy that my closest friends don’t share; I’m honest with you in a way that common interactions don’t allow for. Reader and writer; it’s a special bond. We are in each other’s heads; we hear each other’s voices. We shape each other’s lives. In a small way, we are one for a thousand words.

You read these thousand words. You may have once felt this way too. Maybe reading my thousand words makes you feel better. You are excited to hear that someone else feels sad too. You think that if we aren’t alone then somehow it will be okay. Maybe together we can find an answer. Or maybe I am alone.

You read these thousand words. You may think I’m weak. You write me off as having a pity party and are done with me. You may comment. I read what you’ve written; hear what you’ve said. I will forget the praise and the encouragement. I will remember the words that cut; the words that say I’m bitter; selfish; immature. Maybe you are right. Maybe I am.

After a thousand words you can tell who I am; what I am saying; you can answer my questions: after only a thousand words on one given day when I felt sad, such a small part of who I am.

Who I am is a statement, but twist it a bit, and it’s a question. It is my question. Those three little words twist, and I get confused. I forget what I know. I lose sight of who I am.

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I forget that who I am is complicated. A string of events, moment by moment; where I fail and where I succeed and where I keep doing the same thing; it’s the air I breathe, it’s what I do; it is who I am.

I sing the song in my head; but I only have this voice. I write the words at my fingertips; but I only have the two hands. I go as far as I can; but I can only go as far as these feet can take me. I love the people I love; my heart won’t let me lie. Not to do these things would mean I cease to be; or rather I cease to be me, and that can’t last long. And it can serve no one’s purpose.

I was made for a purpose, either I have forgotten or I never knew it, I was made for a purpose. I was made to be me and no one else. I was intended to be made into the one who made me. It’s so simple. It’s so complicated. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. So I write. I sit, and I write a thousand words. I don’t have the answers. I’m having trouble finding the questions. All I can do today is admit that there is more than a day or a thousand words can solve.

This will not end with a convicting statement. And this will not end with some pretty words how it’s OK to be me. Some days it isn’t. Why write it? No conclusion is a poor article: a waste of space and a waste of a thousand words. But these are the only words I have to write. And I have to write; I’m a writer. It’s not what I am; it’s who I am.

Perhaps you will read this. Perhaps it will make you think. And perhaps you will come up with an answer; and then you will have to write a thousand words.

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