Admittedly, I never took the time to see how things could come full circle. I viewed moments as balloons – I’d breathe life into them, entertain them, then watch them float away. Foolishly, I allowed my passion for writing to become one of those balloons, when it should have been a boomerang – always coming back to me, reciprocating the effort I gave it. But here’s the kicker: if you don’t catch that boomerang, it’ll eventually hit you, and it will hurt.
Last night, I sat, legs crossed, on the hard, yet comfortable floor in my mother’s bedroom. I’d come to visit, and we sifted through faded pictures of my former self, wrinkled homemade Mother’s Day cards, and yellowing short stories I’d written in years passed. “Jayde Spooner wrote this in the second grade” (engraved in my then “boxy” calligraphy), concluded a few of my finished “novels.” Alongside that? A hand-drawn caricature of myself (which I now call a “gourmet stick figure.”) Although rough and crispy in nature, my makeshift stories held up well over ten years of tumult. Queue the reminiscence.
Little Jayde would find the nearest corner to curl up in (a 49 cent notebook and BIC pen in hand) and let her imagination run wild. Writing to her was as instinctive as breathing – everything inspired a story. From Sara to Evaneg to Mona and Gustame, Little Jayde’s characters were an ode to the vast array of personalities she’d encountered throughout her girlhood. Her demure demeanor diminished when she was under the influence of the pen. She was in control, the autonomy all hers. And she was magical.
I’m a few weeks shy of my 25th birthday, and I can already tell you how I’ll be celebrating: (one global pandemic + quarantine + racial tensions on tilt + pursuing my Master’s degree) = I’ll be in my damn house with a cold glass of Stella Rosa. Quarantined or not, this is probably how I would have celebrated “The Quarter” anyway. The time inside (and my untimely exit from the corporate world) has given me a chance to redirect my energy. Though I worked in Marketing, I hadn’t written anything of substance in almost two years. Every attempt I made to write a short story or draft an article became overshadowed by the demands of a full-time position, personal matters, the works. I told myself if I really loved creative writing, I would make time for it – but no matter how magical this Black woman was, I couldn’t add a twenty-fifth hour to my day. By the time I would get home from the office (usually around eight p.m.), I just wanted to shower, eat, and hit the hay.
Insert the boomerang. No, I didn’t catch it. Yes, it hit me and hurt…at first.
With pandemics come job losses, and I was no exception. I logged into my laptop for my weekly one-on-one; by the time it was over, my account had been deactivated. I took that weekend to say my goodbyes and unpack almost two years’ worth of triumphs and traumas. Truth be told, I’m still unpacking. The following week, however, I finished my application for grad school. I had already been planning to go back, and this “hit” motivated me to complete the process. While my passion for marketing has definitely taken a backseat, my love for writing propels me forward. Life’s brief and unpredictable- but your legacy? Your legacy bellows from generation to generation, seeping into the minds and hearts of many. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on mine – don’t forget to work on yours.