Middle school was where I truly began to appreciate the power of the pen. I honestly thought I was stupid until essay questions became more standard on tests. The biggest complaint I would get is there were too many details, but little did they know that was just my divergent brain taking in the limitless possibilities. Language Arts was the one class I could count on to disappear in a piece of paper.
Freshman year in high school, I just got out of a treatment program. I loved it there. I felt like I was in the safest place in the world. I knew what was expected out of me. I was given more responsibilities and privileges the harder I worked, and I got consequences when I broke the rules. I knew what to expect from the time the morning alarm sounded until lights out. To me, it felt like I was wrapped in a cocoon protected from the outside world.
Leaving the safety of the program was overwhelming. I was used to sitting in my little cubicle quietly doing my schoolwork—No opinions, no discussions, just reading and answering questions. There were no judgments from other students because none of us were on the same material. Even then, I loved learning. There was a safety buried somewhere within the knowledge.
My freshman Language Arts teacher assigned us a poem about a flower. I wish I had kept that poem. It must have been dark because somehow he could see how I was feeling through what I wrote. He pulled me aside and told me that poetry was like a secret language I could use to get out how I was really feeling. That’s when I started writing poem after poem.
Poetry helped me find the rhythm in my words. That skill would pay off in many ways through school and through out my multitude of careers. I much prefer to write out what I’m thinking and take people on a journey through the words.
My senior year of high school, I had all my necessary credits to graduate, so I took an independent study of poetry. Many people thought I would pick this one L.A. teacher whom everyone loved. I picked the one that most people dreaded and feared. She was tough, and I knew she wouldn’t let me get away with anything. I wanted to be pushed beyond my comfort zone.
By the time my senior year ended, I had written over one hundred poems. They went to some of my darkest places and helped me to process some of the traumas that tore up my soul. Poetry was the safest place for me to explore my darkest corners.
By the time I was twenty, I was writing training programs. By twenty-four, I wrote a monthly sales column in an indoor tanning magazine, and by twenty-five I was writing business proposals for more money than I could imagine at the time. Yet, the writing didn’t ever touch me like the dance I had with poetry.
Then just like that, the darkness crept in and I somehow I forgot how to expose it to the light. I forgot how to dance. The dark period would last for years. Then through a series of traumatic events, I picked up my pen and began to write and write, but instead of poetry it was letters. I would write and burn letters to process all my pain.
With my writing came more healing than I ever knew I needed. I wrote my way into and through college loving every minute of it. I learned so much about technical writing. I thought it would be fun to take a creative non-fiction course. Little did I know it would be one of my most challenging courses, but I was bound and determined to do my best. I sat in a room full of the most talented CREATIVE WRITING MAJORS— I a Human Development major. Let’s just say, I had to REALLY learn to be more flexible with my writing fast. I felt so over my head. They didn’t let me drown, and I’m so grateful for each and every critique. I felt honored to hear, see, and feel the talent in that room. With that, I learned how to dance a different dance of words.
FromALovingPlace.com was born from deep inside of me; a calling from my soul that has allowed me to continue my dance with words. The writer in me calls me to write letters, gratitude lists, blogs, sayings, articles, and now books. My dance begins the second my fingers touch the keys. I started today’s post not having any idea what was going to come out, I just started to dance and my fingers took over.
I allow my passion to take me on this journey daily and I feel full and abundant.
Thank you to all the teachers and professors who taught me how to turn on my light and dance with words.
With Love and Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2020