Although this blog makes it pretty clear that I love nail polish, my passion for writing makes it pale in comparison.
Since a very young age, I gravitated toward the written word – the pen is far mightier than the sword.
Even before I learned how to write, my mom said that I used to scribble on paper and pretend that I was writing.
When I learned the alphabet in kindergarten and couldn’t read or spell yet, I was already playing around with the different letters at home.
Without any prompting or encouragement from my parents, I wrote down letters in different combinations at home. Then I’d show my made-up words to them and ask, “Is this a word?” Nope!
Then something amazing happened, and I’ll never forget it. One day, my mom looked at what I had written and said, “Yes, that is a word!” She was clearly as surprised as I was!
Anxious to find out what I had randomly spelled, I asked, “What does it say?”
“Family.” My mom said.
Sure, it could just have been by chance that I spelled that word, but I interpreted that as a special sign for me to always appreciate my family, even if there were many dysfunctional things about it.
Through good times and bad times, writing has always been my passive psychologist. It’s cathartic and creative. Even if I sometimes get writer’s block, I still enjoy the process of recording thoughts, whether it’s on paper or on the computer.
In the first grade, my teacher asked the entire class to keep a journal. We had 15 minutes to write anything we wanted each day. While many of my classmates complained about not knowing what to write and struggling to fill a page, I remember writing up a storm and complaining that we only had 15 minutes.
To put things in perspective, at the end of the year, I had completely filled over 15 school books for this journal assignment, whereas most of my friends managed to only complete 4 or 5 books.
Once I learned how to compose and read sentences, I went crazy! Haha, I would jot down thoughts all the time and read everything I could. Now those funny little symbols actually meant something, and it was like cracking an exciting code. Mind. Blown.
Seriously! When I say that I read everything, I mean it! It wasn’t just books. I’d also read everything on cereal boxes, packs of gum, the fine print in magazine ads, and instructions for pens.
There was a time when my brother seemed to always get fancy pens for Christmas and his birthdays from my grandparents and relatives. It was pretty funny because he didn’t, and still doesn’t, like writing at all.
I thought it was intriguing that there were people out there who were paid to write about something as basic as how to use a pen! Haha, I remember the instructions for one pen: “Twist the barrel counter-clockwise. The pen is now ready to use.” My brother was going to throw out the instructions, but I saved it in a shoebox with other little knick-knacks because I thought it was hilarious.
In elementary school, I once caught a guy staring at me in class while I was writing. When I asked him what was up, he said something like, “All I see is a blur when you’re writing. There should be smoke.”
I went through tons of pens and pencils in a school year. And it should come as no surprise that my favourite things to buy in preparation for the fall were writing instruments and lined paper.
Reading was also a passion of mine, and I tore through books like I was the literary version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!
Then in grade 3 or so, our teacher gave us access to a huge table full of all different types of blank paper. I think I abused that privilege…haha, because nearly every single day, I’d put together my own books. Literally. I’d staple paper together, draw a cover, add a title, put my name on the bottom, and generally make it resemble a real, published book. I even had the arrogance to write an “About the Author” page where I often made up all my literary accomplishments. 😉 I’d even make up quotes from my favourite authors saying complimentary things about me like, “Mary handles words like a skilled acrobat. This is a must-read!”
When I got to high school and learned how to write formal essays, it opened up another world. I really enjoyed using references to back up my ideas and support my thesis. Also, it was an interesting way to weave together many of the things learned in class while still adding your own thoughts to the mix.
It’s strange, but I always seemed to be in classes with students who disliked writing. I never met anyone who was as obsessed with writing as I was.
Writer’s Craft was a course offered in the final year of high school. Of course I enrolled!
While most of my friends often fell asleep in Writer’s Craft, I was on the edge of my seat because the teacher was probably the most inspiring English teacher I ever had. He was brave enough to share stories he had written himself! (Haha, I was such a nerd, but I remember jotting down some notes for myself because I learned a lot from his writing style.)
When he had finished reading his story, I he looked up and asked if we would like to hear another. I was the only person who answered, let alone who was awake! And I was disgusted with everyone else. How could you not appreciate his creativity?
This teacher had written some of the most original stories I had heard in a long time. I wish I asked him for a copy because I can’t recall them all now. One of them that was really quirky was about a universal conspiracy about where missing socks in the dryer go and where coins dropped in between sofa cushions wind up.
And that teacher had such an extensive vocabulary that I found myself jotting down at least one new word per class that I really liked and that I had never heard before.
He was the type of teacher I really respected because he didn’t just teach English – his writing was fit to be published! And he pushed us so hard. (I really like teachers who challenge you. It was in that class where, for my final project, I composed a screenplay that was over 40 pages long! I wasn’t just proud of the length, but also the plot. It was a psychological thriller that, even to this day, I want to flesh out.)
One day, a friend told me about something she overheard my Writer’s Craft teacher saying to another teacher about me. “Her name sounds like a writer’s name!” Let me tell you, I was on top of the world that day! I felt like someone handed me the moon with a compliment like that! 🙂
Even to this day, the compliments I take to heart the most are the ones about my writing. They make my heart skip a beat, and I feel like dancing or jumping up and down like a fool!
During university, my strength was definitely writing essays. Whenever I’d see essay questions on exams, it always made me feel relaxed, even if I had been nervous going into it.
It should come as no surprise that for most of my elective courses, I chose many English classes and ones that involved tons of reading and writing.
Despite being a psychology major, at the end of one of the English courses, my professor told me that I should write for a living! (Again, I wanted to jump up and down like a fool!)
I ended up taking her advice. 😉 My first full-time job straight out of university was as a writer.
While still working for that company, I remember cracking open a fortune cookie at a restaurant. The message inside said: “You will become a successful writer.” It was the best fortune I ever got. I taped it onto my monitor at work for daily encouragement.
My life goal is to write a book and get it published. It’s been a dream of mine since I knew authors existed.
There’s one piece of non-fiction that I’m working on. It’s a humourous office-politics book about the type of people you meet in the workplace and how to deal with them. It has a cheeky vibe that isn’t meant to be taken seriously, although there are a lot of unspoken truths throughout.
I’ve also considered writing a more serious book (in an academic style) about nail polish to incorporate my other passion. I actually have a lot of things to say about it and how it reflects and challenges the status quo. The book would deal with how nail polish symbolizes the voice of women, men, and dreamers. I would also go into the politics behind polish.
Hehe, I could literally keep on typing, but I think I’ll end this blog post here. 😉
So…what are you passionate about? Do you like writing and reading? At what age did you discover your passion?