Friday, June 1, 2012

Writing & Fear Part 2: I'm "shure" she meant nothing by it.

(When I started to hide..)

I remember climbing a tree with a pen in my mouth. Then I would find a comfortable branch, and I’d feel the breeze, and the quiet moment made me sigh and pause and reflect. I couldn’t reflect without writing. The journals filled.

I was in elementary school and writing the insides of heart in a small book with a gold lock and a tiny key. I was terrified that I would lose that little key.
It was the key to my own little world, my private, beautiful world of words. I filled it and filled it, pages and pages of my heart on paper. Many of my thoughts were childish, silly thoughts: drama with the girls at school, cute boys, the weather and dreams of summer. I wrote when I was angry; sad; confused; bursting with excitement; grateful.
Pecoware / Secret Diary with Lock, Fancy Butterfly
photo credit

Sometimes words would fit together in such a way that it seemed to me a miracle-- genius, wit. Something beautiful had fallen out on to the page, and I was shocked, and pleased. I didn’t know there were such wonderful things inside my head. How could I know, until I wrote it out? And there it was and it was just so clever, or so emotional, insightful, and DEEP. I was wise in my own eyes, and funny too, and my heart just kept on filling pages and pages.

And yet even then, I wanted to be known. I wanted someone to really know those words, for in reading, they would know my heart. I wanted to show my whole heart to someone, and with trembling hands, I did it one day. “I’ll let you read my journal,” I said to my current BFF. I handed it to her solemnly, feeling the weight of the moment, one scared and hopeful little girl, setting the enormous scroll of her heart on the scales of peer review for the very first time.

I sat on the blanket with her while she read. The sun was warm and I was nervous, so I started smashing the ants that crawled on the corner of the blanket. I tried not to stare at her. Those poor ants.

Finally, a reaction. A tiny snicker. I looked up hopefully, wondering which of my witty insights caused her to snicker in appreciation. She saw me watching her, and pointed to the page.
“Shure,” she said, giggling. “You wrote shure, but it’s not spelled that way. It’s S U R E.”
“Oh,” I said. “Ok.” I shrugged a little.
She went back to reading. “Here is is again! Shure! Wow, you shure use that word a lot!” she quipped.
She quipped. She teased.
She held my words in her hand, my heart on paper, and she saw nothing but my spelling mistakes.
I took the journal from her. “Nevermind.” I said.

I took my words back.
I shoved them under my arm, protectively.

I decided that this cruel world did not deserve to see them.


This moment and all these feelings came to mind after I wrote Writing & Fear Part 1.
I just had to share it, even though it makes me look pretty pathetic. 
I was. 
Just so you know, I won a few spelling bees in the following years.
And I stopped hiding my words, eventually.

I'd be willing to bet that some of you have had an experience like this.
If you relate, I'd love to hear from you.

Writing & Fear Part 3 coming soon (and I promise this one will have some of that encouragement you've been waiting for!)


  1. It does NOT make you sound pathetic....just your style of writing made me have goosebumps waiting for that girl's reply to you...I had a similiar experience, as an adult, and it brought me to such tears...someone not reading deep enough into my words...I don't know if it hurt more or less being an adult...all I know if now if I'm upset, to the laptop I go...even if I don't write about THAT. :) Michy

  2. You are absolute right... when I'm upset I go to the computer. This is just how I am, and I am finally figuring out that even though my husband does not cope this way, I DO, and I need to make time for it (or I will go crazy!)

    I was definitely a bit sensitive as a child (obviously!) I really had forgotten about it for years, but now writing it makes me see it with fresh eyes. Even the tough stuff can be MATERIAL! :)

  3. Thank for sharing your thoughts with us at NOBH. It sure does hurt to be misunderstood but thankfully we have a Savior who never misunderstands us. ( I had a similar diary and came home one day to find the little side binding cut. My little sister promised she didn't cut it open.)


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