Misfit Mind

The biggest thing I miss about college is writing. If you’re like me and can often better articulate your thoughts on paper, rather than in conversation, there is something quietly fulfilling about the process. Having your thoughts read — but only the ones you want read. See, I believe reading words has more impact than speaking them. Speaking is temporary. People will always forget what you said. They will not forget what you wrote.

Writing is a beautiful thing because printed words can be revisited time and time again. When you write — a part of you is infinite. You are unforgettable. Your voice lives on, even after your body has stopped. That’s why I don’t understand people who say they don’t like to write. What a wasted talent. Inevitably — a wasted life.

Writing is the purest form of self-expression. It is truly organic. No two authors write exactly the same, nor should they strive to. I try to teach my students that the most important thing about writing isn’t what you say, but how you say it. Your style. Your voice. Each is unique, individual. It gives us beautiful diversity in literature.

That’s why I don’t understand people who don’t like to read. Literature comes in so many forms — poems, plays, stories, songs, novels — and in so many topics; there must be something that appeals to you. What better way to learn, than to read. Through reading we learn about ourselves, and we learn about our world — by escaping to a world that is not our own. I believe this is what makes certain stories timeless.

Literature is the expression of the human experience. Whether it be a tale true to life or a story of magic spells and far-off places – we invariably find characters we relate to, which teaches us about ourselves and the world we are forced to exist in. As a 27-year-old misfit I have a laundry list of fictional friends, and have had dozens of fictional heartbreaks. When you read, those character’s experiences become your own. Their triumphs become your triumphs. Their struggles become your struggles. If you’re like me, reading bombards you with emotions you’re forced to deal with; things you perhaps wouldn’t handle well in your real life. Maybe I’ve just got terrible coping skills, but reading allows me to be a better person in real life. It allows me to understand others with more empathy. It gives me patience and perseverance when life is heavy. Perhaps most importantly — it gives me a safe place to escape.

Someday, I’d love to offer that same reprieve to a strange mind like mine. All I need is a brilliant idea.  

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