The Joy of Writing #1 – Weekly Reflections

I’ve been writing since about 2012. Earlier if you count the crappy comics I made as a child, with the superheroes of Fast Boy and Cowboys and Secret Agents. The point is, I’ve been a storyteller since childhood.

I’ve written speeches and spoke in front of a crowd of a thousand, I’ve made short stories that nearly won scholarships, and I have told the same stories over and over again, constantly reworking and learning my audience.

Humor and comedy come naturally to me. Tears and sorrow come naturally as well. Right now, the only thing natural that’s coming to me is reflection.

The past month has been insanely hard, and now I’m in a moment where everything was really going south for me. From losing friends, to not getting things I wanted to get into, to not doing the things I want to do, I’ve turned bitter.

Some things are never naturally “good” or “bad,” and that’s a realization that has been affecting me a lot. I thought my writing was a good thing, that my voice and my knowledge of how to tell a clear, cohesive tale would be powerful and could move people. In the past month, though, I’ve used my voice like Godzilla uses his feet: to stomp and destroy. The words I spoke, icy and cool like a nice glass of water on a summers day, turned into vitriol and heat, like lava, burning the skin of anyone that felt it.

I had made people cry. I made people turn from me. I lost things. All because I turned myself into a hurtful person through the power of my words.

You know that quote from Lex Luthor in Superman? The 1978 version, “Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.” That’s the power of words, of stories and meanings.

I’ve been home since Tuesday, in quarantine because of some emergencies and stressors happening around me. In this time I’ve deemed it the “Peyton Renaissance,” Where I’m trying to find my peace and my happiness in my own means, and it’s hit that it’s through words that I feel happy.

These reflections will be a part of that, and so excuse me if I sound like a rambler, sounding erratic, where’s the beginning, middle, and end? General life updates will be found here too, and if you can find theme, then good on you. Take what I say and find a lesson.

I’ve been missing Mom a lot. Gosh, do I miss her. I lost her in 2014 to suicide, and when you lose someone you were close to, you miss them daily. I reflect on the 12 years I had with her, and the 7 more without her. I miss going to basketball games with her, cheering in the stands and sharing food. I miss the movies, and the trips to Disney World. I miss talking to her about anything that my twelve year old mind thought of. Mostly, I miss the normalcy. Her passing led to struggles, so many days have passed where I didn’t want to get out of bed because I missed her, but I did it anyways because that’s what she’d want. You can’t live a life without someone believing that they’re still there, but you can live a life without someone believing that they want you to succeed.

When she passed, I made it a daily goal to make at least one person smile everyday. If I knew someone was going through loss of their own, I’d try to love and try to make them feel worthy. No one deserves the things I’ve had to go through, and we’re all facing our own private monsters. So, while I was fighting my own, I found that helping others with theirs was meaningful too.

In college, that’s been a hard thing to do. I’ve felt a little aimless, not going to lie. I know what I want to do in my life, and so I work on my classes and I work for the grade, but I have struggled to meet others, to feel a connection. I felt a connection with Greek Life, yet I didn’t get into the group I wanted because I didn’t make enough of a connection with them. It’s those personal, private things. And it hit that in college, it sometimes feels like it’s every man for themselves.

So, I retreat to writing and storytelling for that solace. I can make at least one person smile, but I need to make myself smile too. I work on my short stories, I reflect, I think and I move.

In the Peyton Renaissance, I’ve worked to try and make myself smile. Let me tell you what has made me smile as of late:

I’ve been lifting and exercising a lot more. Firstly, one cannot be confident in themselves if they are sad over their body. Self-Care, although that word is thrown around a lot, is definitely a priority. I find that self-care through exercise has been a meaningful revelation to me. A change in my diet, a healthier approach to portions, it’s made me smile to see changes in myself.

I have been working on my novel, Fleischerville, a lot more. Averaging maybe 2,000 words a day, I’m finding a need to finish this project, and to start seeking agents and publishers. It’s a passion project, and to find a renewed sense of passion in it has been integral to all of this.

My cat! Luke makes me happy. His mews and chirps, and his running around and funny, always straight up tail makes me laugh. He’s also lovey, which I couldn’t say the same about many other felines. I’ll need to make a post one day showing him off, he’s truly the best pet.

My family has been comforting and supportive, and they’ve been willing to listen to my countless rambles, from the fictional tales I’m writing to the classes I’m struggling with. They’re a great source of help and wisdom.

The opportunities that have been cropping up for me have been amazing. I’ve applied to some things on campus, and I’ve been working on a lot more stuff. I’m doing a story for an anthology thing, set to release later on this year! I’m so excited to share more about that.

Lastly, this blog! Oh my goodness, the amount of support you all have been giving me has been amazing. I feel so motivated to keep working on this, and I’m actually looking into starting a youtube channel in the near future. Stick with me, I’m so excited for the future here.

You are given a new day, everyday. Your fresh starts can be whenever. Work to find your happiness and your joys, and live the life God meant to give you. Stay from temptation, as when times get rough, simple pleasures sure seem really tempting. Keep your head up, and know that there’s other people willing to swim with you.

Thank you for listening to my ramble, there’s more reflections and posts to come.

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