As my byline on this brand new website(!) says, I have dreamed of being a writer ever since I became obsessed with Louisa May Alcott when I was in 4th grade.
I am not sure how many times I had read Little Women by that point, but I know I had relived the stories of the March sisters multiple times, and I spent days pretending to be the different characters.
Some days, I pretended to be Meg, always responsible, always dutiful, always kind. I didn’t really pretend to be Meg much, though, because her personality was the most similar to mine.
Other days, I pretended to be Amy. I knew I could never be Amy. I wasn’t artistic, for one thing, and her snobbish, selfish ways irritated me. She was always sniffing at some real or imagined injury, and that’s just not really my thing. I envied, however, her cultured, refined grace that emerged despite her poverty.
When I was feeling melodramatic, I wanted to be Beth. I was a child obsessed with the romanticized, 19th-century consumptive female. I was also obsessed with anything tragic, really. The Highwayman was my favorite poem ever. I used to stare at this picture from my mom’s Childcraft book for hours:
Beth appealed to me because of her sweet goodness and the wispy shadow of death that followed her, and sometimes I pretended that I was like this angelic character who selflessly looked after the needs of others.
But then there was Jo. I mostly wanted to be Jo. There were parts of Jo I deeply resonated with – her love of reading and writing, her desire to do something important with her life, and then there were parts of her that I just admired from afar – like her reckless courage and blunt outspokenness. Mostly, I wanted to be Jo because I knew that Jo’s story was at least partly Alcott’s own story, and, as mentioned above, I was obsessed with her. Jo was a writer. Alcott was a writer. I wanted to be a writer.
I am not sure what it will take for me to ever believe that I am truly a writer, but I am one who writes, and I am looking forward to trying out the writing medium of blogging again. I’ll be honest: I don’t necessarily always like to blog, but I like how blogging makes me more keenly aware of the world around me. This awareness makes me more awake, more alive, as I move through the highs and lows, the quotidian and the extraordinary, the tellurian and the spiritual, and think to myself, “I could write about that.”
So here’s to writing about the the highs and lows, the quotidian and the extraordinary, the tellurian and the spiritual. I am sure I will also toss in some funny turkey, chicken, and duck stories for some comic relief.