“A writer is an organism that will go on writing even after its heart has been cut out.” – Wallace Stegner
In April 2012 I decided that I was going to write. No matter what. I was heartbroken, alone, poor, and sick. What else was there for me?
The woman I was in love with was about to get married. I had such low self-esteem because of my issues with my teeth that I couldn’t stare her in the eyes. She’d keep asking me to look at her, yet I couldn’t. What woman would choose such a man?
You see, hearts break sometimes. And when they do, some pieces get turned into art. Stories, paintings, songs. Tears become words. Those words that press heavy against one’s heart comfort those whose own hearts have been broken.
Art is the only glue that keeps most hearts from shattering.
I wrote my first novel that month. It was secretly about her. Then I wrote another novel. Also about her. I realized that this made her feel more like a character and less like a real person.
I once wrote she was more of a work of art than I could ever create into existence.
And I kept writing. Started this blog. Self-published my novels. I made a promise to write and keep on writing, no matter what. If I was going to starve to death, ridiculed by others, then so be it. But I wouldn’t spend one more minute of my life doing anything other than the thing I loved doing most.
Passion, you see, comes from Latin. It means to suffer.
And I did suffer. Loneliness, heartbreak, starvation…
But I wrote because that was what made me happy. What made me feel alive.
Good or bad, my stories were the one thing that kept me alive for all these years. I wrote them because they meant something to me, because I thought they’d mean something to others too. I wrote them with the hope of them, some day, becoming true. And I wrote them knowing full well that they’d never come true.
With tears in my eyes, I wrote about love, because I felt I wasn’t worthy of love. Fifty five kilograms isn’t much of a man. Maybe half of one. Not enough teeth in your mouth, not knowing how to smile…
You walk down the street and see people. And you ask yourself if they have something you don’t, and what is that, and why can’t you have it as well?
When this blog became popular, and my books were selling, and I managed to fix my teeth, I felt invincible. It is such a wonderful feeling to look people in the eye and smile whenever they say something clever or witty. Or when you ask them something clever or witty.
And I found love. And it felt as if everything I had ever lost came back to me. I felt complete. Proud of myself. Capable. Strong.
But, you see, those things that don’t kill us… yeah, they make us stronger. But they also leave scars. Badly healed wounds that are always there, no matter how much time passes.
When I started having problems with my teeth(my gums were bleeding like crazy for no apparent reason) and I couldn’t afford a new treatment, and then my grandfather died, my father decided to give up on me…that’s when she left.
This is life.
Beautiful and terrible things happen.
Sometimes nothing happens. Nothing at all. Other times, everything happens, all at once.
It’s been four years since what I often refer to as “the worst month of my life.”
Took me three years to finish another novel and publish it. Three years. Stuff I could have written and edited in a month.
Took me every ounce of strength not to fall apart and manage to pay my dental bills.
There are always hard battles. This is what life is all about. Battles that need to be won. Battles that we must fight with everything we’ve got.
There’s no way of avoiding it.
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