I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember. I loved writing reports in elementary school about animals and historical events. I kept diaries and wrote short chapter books, that would be mortifying for someone to read now. But I absolutely loved writing. I loved being able to create something out of nothing and that I didn’t need to share my writing with anyone to call myself a writer. I could keep poetry in a notebook without showing it to anyone and not consider myself any less creative.
As a child, I was a writer. If I told someone that I considered myself to be a writer, no one would’ve questioned me. Yet, now as I’m pursuing a degree in creative writing and hesitantly sharing my writing with others, there’s less freedom in simply being a writer.
People, of course, no longer ask what I want to be when I grow up, instead, they ask questions like how I expect to support my family with a career in writing. Questions like these have terrified me and made me doubt myself. Yet, in the back of my mind, I knew that I need to write regardless. When I decided to let go of other's expectations and demands for my life and my creativity, I was able to find joy in writing again with much less fear. I stopped leaving room for negative opinions in my life.
This isn’t to say it’s all be easy. I had to decide that I can write whether it pleases others or not. I’ve also had to decide that I can consider myself a writer whether or not my entire career is devoted to writing. I can let writing be a place to record my thoughts, allow myself to grow, engage with others, and express myself without having to answer to others.
I love to write because it fills me with joy. It gives me purpose. It keeps a record of my life. It brings out the best in me and my life.
Maybe there’s something you love that has fallen by the wayside because you were afraid of failure or you were afraid you wouldn’t meet others expectations. If you’re looking for permission to find joy in that activity again, here it is, not that you need it anyways. Whatever it may be that you used to enjoy doing it’s not too late to try again, even if the complexities of life have prevented you from pursuing it in the past. When you live simply, you allow space for the ideas and activities you love wholeheartedly, and you’re able to push away the limited ideas other people may have, even when it’s difficult to do so.