Thursday, September 15, 2016

Coming to Terms, Part 2

The Spring of 1991 found me in Iraq. I was 18 years old at the time and a Private First Class in the United States Army, 1/1 Calvary and I was already thinking different thoughts.

After the cease fire, I was just waiting to go back to Germany and make new memories, have other experiences. I spent my days reading books, writing letters, writing in my journal and composing stories. The truth of the matter was simply that just beyond my immediate landscape, all else was just dark.

I fought war when I was 18 because I wanted to be far away from home and completely separated from my family, my past and my childhood geography. I never quite got away from any of that.

What I did get, however; was very far away from home and very close to a pen and a notebook.

I came to terms with one thing in Iraq in that first month after the war and before returning to Germany, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I knew I wanted to be a writer because of the peace I felt during the act of writing. What I really didn't know was what a writer was, how a writer becomes a writer or what-honestly-to write about.

I suppose the statement can be made that at 18 years old, we don't know who we are, but we may know what we want to become.

I have become what I always imagined.

I have become what I am so much so, that occasionally I feel like I've become a parody of myself. Of all the things I've come to terms with, the parody of myself is the biggest thing.

The truth is, I have since day one, since my early days of 1991, Iraq and Desert Storm, I have been protective over one thing and one thing only and that's my writing and my time in order to do some writing.

I have never really wanted anything more than what I am.

This only comes into conflict when the notion of “real life” gets involved. The whole problem with “real life” is that it gets in the way of what's important and in my situation that is the writing. Sometimes I feel like I have to come to terms with the fact that I'm a writer and sometimes I feel like I have to come to terms with being a writer mired in “real life.”

Whatever the case, I know I won't win and I can't lose. I just keep writing and I continue to go to work. I haven't fully crossed over from one to the other.

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