I used to be an open book, held out for the world to read.
Then people scribbled all over the pages. They wrecked the story I was creating, the art I was living.
So I began to hold my book closely, closed, clutching it to my chest. Protected.
Eventually, I began to feel lonely. What is the point of a story if no one reads it? How interesting is art if no one contributes to it but the artist?
My freshman year of high school, a classmate, a known prankster, took a notebook of mine and scribbled on the first twelve pages; he wasn’t being malicious, just being a freshman boy. So, I started taking my notes on page thirteen.
Over the course of the semester, my dear friend, who is a wonderful artist, drew an picture out of every scribble. They were creative, inspired, and delightful.
I still have that notebook thirty years later. And it still makes me smile when I look through it.
That is how I am going to live my story.
I will no longer hold my book close to me; I will dare to open it up to the world again and revisit the freedom, the innocence, the exuberance of youth.
There will be hurt, that is guaranteed, but I will take each scribble, whether it is malicious or unintential, and see what shapes I can find within it, discover what can created from it, and make my own unique art out of it.
And when I doubt myself, I’ll pull out my old freshman notebook and smile, remembering something inspired and delightful can be created from every scribble.