When I was in high school, I daydreamed my way through math and science. While my teachers talked about algorithms and numbers that I would never use, I sat back in my chair and imagined my life as a writer. I pictured myself at age 20 walking down the fall-soaked streets of Chicago. The autumn leaves re-stained the trash stained sidewalks, and as my black leather booties clacked against the pavement, I reminded the city that I was a damn important person. I wore wine-red lipstick and left kisses on coffee mugs; I lost my breath laughing with beautiful friends and fell in love with a broody guy who caught my gaze on the El. And at the end of the day, I would return to my perfectly indie studio apartment. I would sink into a white couch with a velvet throw blanket, sip on some beer with a cool label, and write a blog post or a chapter of my novel while the liveliness of the day was still fresh on my tongue. Ah. What a life.
I used to want to be the sexy writer. The writer who slinks around a hip city like the shadows that dance across brick walls in the evening. The writer who puts on lipstick before running to the post office, and has mastered the relationship between Free People and Goodwill. The writer who has eyes that embody all the oceans, skies, drinks, loves and heartaches that have ever been inked onto her page. The writer with a mysterious aura of messy hair, flushed lips and a warm scent that makes everyone else want to take up writing.
I don’t know if I ever will meet this character of myself that I daydreamed about in a high school classroom. I don’t know if people will ever recognize my name at a coffee shop, and I don’t think I will make lipstick a daily necessity. Maybe the click of my shoes will never declare my importance, and that’s probably for the best because I hate it when my shoes click against the sidewalk. Even though I am without the trendy aesthetic that my younger self pined for, I am a writer. I write so that I can commit moments to memory, to etch feelings on my skin. To remember the sting of that bustle that follows death, or to linger in love with the way he effortlessly looped his arms around my waist. To snuggle into the words of Thoreau, or to be plopped into an ice bath that shakes away my fear of growing pains. I write about the laughter that warms my cheeks on a chilly walk around the block, and the weight that gathers in my throat as I stand in black at the front of a church. Or the anger that echoes through my head and spirals down the hallway, but also the tingles that sparkle in my stomach after a first kiss, because those are some the experiences that define me, and I believe that a writer is the sum of the experiences.
I don’t slink around a hip city or daily ride the El, but I do have a white couch. It’s covered with an orange sheet that has been battered by blueberries and peanut butter. I think that’s the kind of writer I am – the writer who dreams of a super cool white couch but can make do with an old one covered by a stained sheet because it is truly my own. Maybe someday I’ll buy a velvet throw blanket.
Author: Jamie Tews
Author Bio: My name is Jamie, and I am an English major at Indiana Wesleyan University. I am a condiment enthusiast, reluctant romantic and writer. I hope to someday own a dog (preferably a husky).
Link to social media or website: http://www.jamieanntews.wordpress.com