The Upturned Jar

Nate - Las Cruces, New Mexico
Entered on December 8, 2008

I believe in the power of writing.

Whenever I get a good idea in my head, there isn’t much time until it’s gone. By writing it down, I catch it – my pencil becomes an upturned jar where I can study the fly inside. I have a harder time remembering good ideas than most people; my mind loves nothing more than to daydream.

Writing is much more than a simple outlet for my thoughts, however. When I was in high school, I often suffered from minor depression. The term “minor depression” makes it sound trivial, but it wasn’t at all. Though I never once considered suicide, there were times were I was very apathetic and nihilistic towards the world. High school turned me into a bitterer version of myself than I imagined I was capable of becoming. I wanted to know what my place in this world was. I wanted to find something I was really good at that would make me satisfied and proud of myself.

The search for that “something” was a prolonged and often lonely one, so much so that when I began to write small stories in my notes after class that took my mind away from the present, I did not immediately know that my search was over. After graduation, however, when I pulled out stacks of old papers from underneath my bed and desk, I found myself surprised at everything I had done.

I imagined characters placed in worlds very much like mine, watching them cope with it as I wrote out their every move. By doing this, I realized that when I wrote, I was looking for answers and finding them at the same time. For every bit of writing I’ve done outside of school, words seem to come naturally to me. I write, and my mind thinks for a long time on what I’ve written. It is a cycle that has ultimately saved me from a downward spiral of depression’s darker side effects.

I have mostly conquered depression a few years ago, and now I turn to writing for other and better purposes. While the inexplicable sadness that once constantly pursued me is gone, my memory remains as unstable as ever. Now, however, I am confident in my ability to overcome it. I have found my place in the world, and I intend to make the most of it; what better way to tackle the problems of a fleeting memory than by memorable writing?