Growing up, I hated writing. I remember sitting at our kitchen table, shedding tears over the frustration of choosing the right words, the anger at the letters for not forming themselves on the page, the fear of failure. My mother, in her infinite wisdom would just stand at the sink with a halfway scrubbed dish in her hand and a sympathetic look on her face. She opens her mouth as if to impart some lasting insight, but all she manages is, It’ll come Kelsey, it’ll come. And it did. But it took a long time for the joy of writing to overtake me. It was in the same broken down state of helplessness that I realized that I write because I have to. Because there are times when there is no other way to make sense of the world around you. Because expression in the fullest is what everyone craves. It started on one of my most recent adventures. I was in a foreign country, by myself, without knowing the language. It was a day where the beautiful sunshine was grating on more emotion-filled soul, a day when I should have stayed in bed with the shutters closed. I had worked all day on experiments that failed because of mistakes that I made, and I had no one to come home to, to spill my frustrations. I was on a street full of people. I didn’t know what anyone was saying. No one looked familiar. No one knew that all I needed was someone to understand that the inflection in my tone was desperation. Or that my sarcasm was just a ruse for my passive-aggressive anger. That my red-rimmed eyes and rosy cheeks weren’t a sunburn from the beach but from hopeless tears that could no longer be restrained. My distraught came from my failure. From my inability to be understood. From the changes that I had to make to my language just to be followed. No one could follow my jokes, or sayings, or know the origins of my movie quotes. No one could follow my basic English. They just though that I was a crazy elegant redneck American. So I wrote about it, because clearly the tears weren’t cutting it. I wrote because I could use the adjectives that were just too difficult for non-native English speakers. I could pose questions that were grammatically correct and wouldn’t have to repeat myself. I wrote to play with the words that I couldn’t play with. I wrote to be understood. I wrote until I had nothing else to say.
So now having returned from my adventure, I write because it is an addiction. I write to have the thrill of picking the right adjective. I write to figure out life. To fully express myself. To chase down the illusive smile from the reader, and to bear my soul when spoken word isn’t strong enough. I write for others, I write for myself. I write because my mother told me a love for writing would come, and it did.