This I Believe

Tielah - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Entered on October 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I have always found refuge in the blankness of a piece of paper and the ink scrawled across its surface. I have always found comfort in the feel of a pen in my hand, letting my ideas sink into existence. I have always found love in the innocence of a fresh notebook. I have always found joy in seeing my words manifest themselves into coherent thoughts. I have always believed in the power of writing.

The sheet of paper never betrays me; I seem to be able to betray myself well enough. At least I am able to trust the open expanse of loyalty shown me by that paper. It listens to me without ever interrupting, takes my beatings, accepts my neuroses, and lets my tears fall on it without complaint. A blank sheet of my paper excites me because it offers me an adventure into my own being and into other worlds. Now, imagine my joy at an entire collection of my best friends; sheet after sheet of paper are piled together to make a beautiful notebook.

I can’t do much with a notebook except admire the clean, crisp, newness of the paper. I need something to put my ideas onto that paper; I must make that paper my own. I need pens. I trust the pen more than I trust my own voice. I trust the ink pouring from my hand to make me sound coherent as I never feel in my thoughts. The pen is mightier than anything I could produce from my own mouth. The color of the pens, the organization of the pens, all matter more than my voice, my tongue forming the words. My ideas don’t truly exist until ink has marked them down.

I sometimes wonder if my love of writing supplies has damaged my ability to interact with the world. Then I realize that without the pen and paper, I would be unable to survive a single day in this reality. The pen and paper preserves my sanity. Others may think that they sap my sanity, but they are wrong. My obsession over pens and my neurosis over writing something perfectly on a new piece of paper keep me grounded in my own creativity. To lose my creativity to the stress of every day toil would be so easy. I fear losing my creativity because that would mean losing my entire personality.

When I feel as though my own mind is slipping away from me, I turn to the pen. Any person who knows me will say that I always have a pen in my pocket. If I have the urge to write, I will write on anything. Give me a piece of a napkin, a brochure, a church bulletin, the inside of my arm. I feel naked without a pen against my hip. Writing can be a compulsion for me.

If every person in the world could find something that completes them the way writing completes me, we would all be better connected with ourselves and even with the people around us. Human beings need to have a purpose; writing is mine. I love the tools of my trade. I find immense pleasure in the beauty of paper and the strength given me by the pen. Every human being should find a love like the one I have for my craft. This I believe.