I tend to break down when I get overwhelmed. My fight or flight senses get mixed up and I turn into a person I don’t like very much. I either shut down or lash out–neither of which are very helpful.
When I do finally come to my senses enough to reach out for help, I turn to a number of people: My mom, God, and myself.
Sometimes the person I need to go to for advice and for hope is the person I used to be. She wasn’t fearless or all-too brave. She was definitely far from perfect. But she went through things that–at the time–were the hardest things she had ever gone through. I love reading her journal entries and laughing and crying with (and sometimes at) her.
And that girl got through it all.
With that in mind, I decided I wanted to go back through my college papers and post the ones that I like the most. Either because writing them was a transformative process, or because it’s some of my best writing.
This first paper was written in September 2014, from a creative writing class.
I hope you enjoy reading from 2014 Savannah as much as I did.
“Why I Love To Write”
When I think about why I love to write, I have many different voices in my mind telling me different pieces of the answer to that question. To me, words are more than just letters formed into something that has meaning to someone because it is associated with an object. Words can form worlds we have never fathomed before. They can paint pictures in our minds, express our deepest feelings, harm or heal, confront or console. Words have power and if we use them wisely we can control that power.
Words have always meant more to me than the average person. When I was younger I had difficulty pronouncing the letter R in words, which made me upset. I did not like talking because it was difficult to say words that should have been easy for me. For example, “girl” became “gull.” However, that did not stop me from using bigger words like “frustrated” when expressing my discontent at the age of four. Luckily, my parents put me through speech therapy and I was able to overcome that issue. Since then, I have never stopped talking.
When I was 11 I decided that words were more than just things to be said. I had always made up my own stories when playing with my Barbie dolls and I realized that those stories could be more than just what I did while playing with my friends. I could use my computer and type out what I envisioned in my mind to create a much more in depth story. My dolls were no longer plastic toys, but characters that had a story to be told. It was then that I began my love of writing.
At the age of 12 I decided to start writing in a journal. I had never thought about writing how I felt or about the events happening in my life until entering the youth group at my church, where we were each encouraged to write in our journals often. My leaders invited us to write, because our journals could one day be read by our posterity. At first it took me a while to take the time to write my thoughts down because I was busy living life. I just did not know the power that reflection could have.
Now, I write almost on a daily basis. I cannot go longer than a week without writing in some form, whether it be in my personal journal, or to my various friends who are serving missions. Writing is how I express my feelings and how I relax. It is how I figure things out and work towards improving my life. When I write, I feel as if nothing else matters. It is only me, my pen, and my notebook in the world for those few minutes. Sometimes when I write I cannot put my notebook down for an hour, sometimes more. Writing soothes my soul and helps me to look at things in a broader perspective.
Another reason why writing is so important to me is that I know that I have been commanded by God to use my talents for the betterment of other people. Since I consider writing to be one of my talents, I feel that it is important that I use this gift to uplift and enlighten those within my reach. As an avid participant in the social media world, I try to post good things so that others may see something good in a sea of sadness, dirt, and grime.
During Winter semester of my freshmen year at BYU I had a professor for The Book of Mormon that had us come up with a project we would work on for the whole semester that would help to share the gospel in some way with those not of our faith. I made the decision to start a blog that included my testimony and some of my spiritual experiences in a way that my friends of all faiths could understand my faith and beliefs and how I apply them to my life every day. I loved the way I felt when I put my feelings in the form of words onto a page and then shared it with my Facebook friends.
Through those experiences I have found that I really do have more than just a talent with words. I found that I can express myself through writing in ways that I could not by just speaking and that it can affect people in ways I never thought possible. Writing has offered me more opportunities to share my love of Jesus Christ and my creative side as well. I love to write because it is a way to share my soul with others, which is beautiful to me.