By: Mary Pat Baldauf
The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbet Platt
I’ve never called myself a writer, but writing is an important part of who I am. I still have one of the first things I remember writing. It’s a letter to my father, awkwardly lettered, full of misspellings and written on bright yellow notebook paper, circa 1970s. Computers and keyboards have long replaced those wonderful Husky pencils and yellow paper, but the magic is still the same. I still love bold pencils, soft erasers and the challenge of blank paper, no matter the color.
In college, I had an epiphany that writing was my way of exploring my feelings, making sense of a crazy world and sorting the personal wheat from the chaff. I enjoyed writing for people I love, like the piece on being an adult at the holiday kid’s table at my grandmother’s house or the college updates I sent my dad when he was hospitalized. I loved firing off impassioned pleas against an injustice, whether it be a letter to the editor pleading the case of an underdog or a complaint letter about a chicken claw found in a chicken noodle soup. (Yes, that really happened!) And I discovered lists, word maps and diagrams, and used them daily to clear my mind and keep me moving forward.
Since college, I’ve written a lot. Press statements for politicians, copy for sales teams and letters for bureaucrats. Non-profit grant applications, government web site copy, newsletter articles galore. Emails, texts, social media posts and the enigmatic 140-character Tweet. And, of course, I write for the Every Woman Blog and my own LeanGreenMP.com, too.
Despite a full portfolio and ever expanding electronic trail, somewhere along the way, I lost my voice. I limited my words to others, and I forgot myself. Don’t get me wrong. I love using words to make a living. But the last few years, months – heck, even the last couple of weeks – I’ve run up against some emotional, complicated and/or otherwise challenging stuff. And for some reason, I haven’t taken pencil to paper.
Starting with this post, I’m going to work hard to rededicate myself to exploring my world through writing. You’ll probably start seeing more personal posts about my wellness journey on the blog, but a lot of what I do, I hope to keep in a special notebook, just for me. More like it used to be. And I’m hoping that, like Norbet Platt says, it just might help me regain my equilibrium.