Why I Write | Teen Ink

Why I Write

October 19, 2012
By KristinC PLATINUM, Cupertino, California
KristinC PLATINUM, Cupertino, California
27 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
-F.Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

"To write it, it took three months; to conceive it three minutes; to collect the data in it all my life."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

I wish there had been some sort of momentous epiphany. A metaphorical light-bulb, an enlightened realization, maybe even a divine order. As you can see, I have a taste for the dramatic. I mean, if the ultimate revelation had been up to me, I’d hire a lilting cherub with gilded wings, cooing with gentle insistence, perhaps an unseen phantom bent ominously by my cradle, guiding my youthful hands toward a luminous pen. Not a chance.

However, since the days of my peachy youth, I managed to grasp that writing was good, that writing was fun, blah blah, that writing was educational, etc., etc. But it was, and is, incredibly more than the mere limited capacities of “fun” and “educational”. To write is to question the unquestionable, fight the impregnable, and power the controversial. My written self is troublesomely stronger than I am, better by far, twice as outspoken and infinitely reflective.

As a writer, I can paint myself without my fleeting sorrows and morning irritability and that bothersome tendency to talk with my mouth full. Instead, I can fly and bellow and graze among boundless possibilities and limitless ideas. In short, I discovered a reality where letters could create words and words could form sentences, and they were my orchestra, solely mine to compose.

I could arrange a rhythm and weave a crescendo, conduct an overture and play whatever beat I wanted. No constraints or criticism, only infinity. Infinite thoughts and words and chances and concepts. My own personal infinity, where time seemed to waltz by with little recollection. Best of all, no teary-eyed siblings or rampaging teachers or odorous litter boxes. My only accompaniment was an inexhaustible river that teemed with living ideas. And the ability to visit this dimension was beyond miraculous. I’d generated the inexplicable, something deemed impossible: I discovered an infinity.

You see, the non-mathematical concept of “infinity” is practically nonexistent. In fact, the credit we place in the word “endless” or “forever” represents a fundamental lack of understanding in our society. After all, living organisms die (by all biological standards), and nothing can stay forever. Even the universe itself is finite, limited. And if there is one consistency among this world of inconsistency, it is that we will all someday be dead, ebbing into the obscurity of bodily decomposition. This complex simplicity is almost entirely impossible for the human population to choke down, me being no exception.

Then I suppose it is understandable that my childhood security blanket was a “live forever” pill, implemented by a concerned mother’s imagination. A “live forever” pill. The possibility of no end, just a swallow away. This pill was my El Dorado, my hidden kingdom of Atlantis, tasting of the same juvenile absurdity of all these conceited quests. And yet I wanted it so badly. I wasn’t even sure what it was. I didn’t really want immortality, I just wanted…a sense of flow. Of endlessness. A hyper-conscious state of being, where reality was disposable. And I found it. A personal infinity. And for me, words are a part of mine. The words that loll about, the words that seem to arrange themselves, the words that whistle in my mind. I live through them. I find a simulated endlessness. Where instead of walking into fences, you can stroll right through them, directly into that ever-elusive sense of continuity.

So yes, I will concede that the literal definition of “endlessness,” is exceedingly implausible. It took me a few nights of sleeplessness and a childhood shared with a fictitious pill, but I know now. I know that it is up to us to find our own versions of infinity. To ascertain our own mental modes of being, to discover that ultimate experience, where we can feel as if there are literally no boundaries, no constrictions, no self-appointed strait-jackets. And I feel permitted to say, with unwavering conviction, that I’ve certainly found mine.

All I really had to do was set down an obsessive, fragile concept and pick up a pen. For me, all it truly takes is a few words, a half-remembered dream, and a willingness to write it all down. And then I’m sailing through the weightlessness of unpressured thoughts, gazing into my own altered reality, a palpable infinity of myself, and of my mind’s possibilities.

Because writing is my infinity.

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