Let me just preface this post by saying that I’ve been on vacation since Saturday and have not so much as looked at my laptop until now. I’ll be back home this upcoming Saturday, when I’ll try to get posts up more frequently.
As a writer, you like to believe that everyone is reading your work. You hope that your work speaks to everyone reading it and that it resonates with them on some level. The reality is that it is just not the case. The reality is that most people couldn’t care less about the words you write or the things you feel.
But then there are those times when your work does reach someone. There are those times when your words do speak to someone and they do resonate with them on some level. Those are the moments that help make every vowel you write worth it.
My writing subject matter can vary from, “Please let this go viral,” to revealing some of the deepest parts of my soul for the world to see. I’ve written in the past about my ex-girlfriend’s daughter, who still means the world to me to this day. I don’t write about her much anymore, if ever, and truthfully, I don’t even really talk about her in conversation.
Most people, particularly girls, don’t want to hear about it, and I don’t really like talking about it unless someone asks and I genuinely feel they are interested.
I’ve long said that I would adopt the girl tomorrow, if given the opportunity, and I maintain that today — four years after her mother and I split for good and they moved over 1,000 miles away.
It’s a sensitive subject for me. Part of me feels that writing or talking about it helped with the healing process, which is true, but part of me also knows that writing or talking about it can rehash feelings I’ve tried to bury over time, which is also true.
Few people can truly understand what the feeling is like, so when I hear criticism from people who have no idea what it’s like to be in my situation, it’s hard not to get angry or tune out of the conversation completely. But when you’re able to hear from someone who really gets it, that’s when everything starts to make sense again.
When a reader reached out to me last week, I had no idea she would eventually move me to tears.
“Your words helped me through some of the hardest times and you don’t even realize it,” she wrote. Naturally, I was intrigued. I’ve written so much about so many different things that I couldn’t even begin to guess what she could be referring to.
She is a young mother, who is no longer with the father of her child. She started seeing someone before she knew she was pregnant and has been with him until recently. She said the child still goes over to her now-ex’s place, which is when she dropped the bomb on me.
“Why? Because of you,” she wrote. “I could read your articles and can tell the bond you have with your daughter.”
No, the girl is not my daughter, but I understood her point.
“I will always see it in my (child’s) best interest to have that figure in (their) life,” she said. “It’s not about my feelings it’s not about his it’s about our (child). From the beginning, whenever I read your blog like two years ago — your letter to her — I knew what I was getting myself into and to this day you would do anything for her and I know he would, too.”
Just re-reading everything makes me tear up again a little bit. The fact that my words, my story, my experiences helped affect another’s decision — and, in turn, a child’s life — is nothing short of remarkable.
I’ve never received a better piece of fan mail, and truthfully, I don’t know that I ever will.