I got my first journal when I was six years old. It had a little gold lock with a set of keys and an illustration of Madeline on the cover. In it, I mostly wrote about my school days, who I played with at recess, how wonderful my first grade teacher was, a list of favorite songs I had at the time. I didn’t think much about why I wrote – I just knew I loved it.
As I got older, I found myself writing more. Short stories, heartfelt birthday cards, poems. Almost all my thoughts ended up on paper. I remember one evening when I was eleven, I watched the sunset from my window. I was mesmerized by a scene resembling the most picturesque postcard, the sky a hundred shades of purple. I still have the poem I wrote about it in a box of old notebooks.
By the time I was in high school, writing wasn’t just a fun way to express myself, it was a necessity. Being a teenager was the most exciting, fragile, and eye-opening experience I’ve known. There were days I’d walk through the hallways in high school and wonder if there was anyone else who felt what I felt… if there was anyone else who longed for the same things I longed for. Music answered that question for me.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard a song that sounded as if it was written about my life. Realizing there’s someone else out there that feels exactly how you feel is m a g i c a l. When you hear someone humming that song down the hallways…or the driver next to you is blasting it with the windows down…when you see it performed before your eyes, and every single person in the room is singing it at the top of their lungs…you can’t even remember what it feels like to be alone.
I wondered what would happen if I could do that…if instead of locking away my diary entries, I shared them. So I started writing songs. Nearly every person, place, and cherished memory of mine became a lyric. I fell in love with writing all over again.
Even though I love writing songs, I still write in my journal every day, scribble poems on napkins, and make heartfelt birthday cards. I write because my heart needs a way to remember all the moments my mind might forget. I write because life can be too wonderful, too difficult, too unpredictable, to process on my own. I write because I hope that my experiences – my stories – can give someone the same feeling I had when I heard a song that sounded like it was written about my life for the first time.
I write for me and you.