“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.”

–Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society

Now, I would hardly call myself a Poet. I have written poetry, but that doesn’t make me a Poet. For one, I have very little chance of dying of TB any time soon, nor is my father obsessed with bees. I am not a disillusioned veteran of a world war, and there are no rumors that I am a vampire. I do shut myself into my room probably more often than I should, but I actually use commas– probably too much.

I am a writer though, and I have been a writer for longer than I have called myself that. And art has always come naturally to me, I can play a few instruments (mostly percussion), I draw, I paint, I sing. My obsession has always been in the creation and discovery of the new. So yes, I write– poetry, prose, music, etc. It is the natural extension of myself and my thoughts. But it is not a “want”, not really. It is something I love, and something I love doing, but it is something that comes not from a place of desire but a place of urgency. I can no more want to breathe than I want to write.

And I suppose that’s part of the problem I have with explaining why I “chose” to do this, which is what the prompt is really asking. I didn’t chose this, I was going to be a chemist. I was going to wear lab coats and wash test tubes. Not that science isn’t a path to creation and discovery (I’ll link to a post here where I talk about how art and science are really the same thing once I get the chance to write one), but it’s generally considered the far more sensible option. I’m still trying to be sensible, working on adding a Technical Writing major and applying for internships. But the creative impulse is far from sensible. It overwhelms and envelops– it’s kind of like the Force.  And unlike most people, artists can’t turn it off. At least I can’t.

At Orientation, I was given some advice that I thought I was following– “Do what you’re good at, not what you’re passionate about.” I had thought I was lucky– I’m decent at science, and I am certainly passionate about it. And yet here I am. Because of changing majors, I was thrown into a crisis of identity that I am still trying to overcome. All I know now is that I am a writer, I always have been, and I don’t think I could be anything else.



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