Narcissistic Notes From My Seventeen-Year-Old Self

2 Nov

Most of the time I remember my teenage self as being super insecure, wanting to be anyone other than me.

Then I come across little gems like this:

I know that I have what it takes to be an author. I know I have what it takes to put  my name on New York Times bestseller. I don’t want to be an author, I want to be the best of the best. Ever. I wont settle for anything else. I have been thinking what does it take to write a best-selling novel? A totally original idea. No one wants to read about everything they have already heard a million times. I need a totally original idea. Something that has never even be thought up or dreamed of by anyone before. That is what will set me apart. I need completely original characters, completely original plot and setting. I need to write something that will grab at the reader’s heart, soul and mind, forcing them to stay up through late hours of the night just to read one more chapter. It need to have a crazy twisted plot that will leave them shocked in the end. I need to write something that will make the reader laugh and cry and stir up something deep inside them that changes the way they view themselves and the world around them forever. Lately I have been asking myself, “What does it take to think this up?” It takes an extraordinary imagination, a certain randomness. It takes a certain perspective on people. Further more, it takes a willingness and self-discipline to sit long hours at the computer writing and writing and living and breathing this story to make it come to life. I figure if I write enough, I am bound to come up with something sooner or later. Brooke Luby will be  written across the smooth cover of that certain book with the unknown title. I will do it.  Sometimes I will try to imitate a certain writer, thinking since THEY have a book published, THEY must be a truly great writer.  I need to learn to erase any writing style I have envied, any form I have been taught, then I will learn to think outside the box, then is when the true originality will flow and the 6 billion will see, feel , READ my soul but not completely grasp it because they can not. They may feel like they can relate, the may feel a connection, but there is one simple fact that will keep them from utterly grasping the words which they will soon all read- THEY ARE NOT ME.

Awkward!

I wrote that when I was seventeen, a few months before I graduated High School.

I admire my own inner tenacity, despite my “slight” narcissism and bad punctuation. (Which I, still struggle with: even though I’am super amazing! 😉 )

When I was packing to move a few months ago, I found a CD with the title scrawled in sharpie, “Writing & Stuff to Save.” It was a treasure trove of memories from my Senior year of High School; terrible half finished stories about suicidal teenagers, notes of advice to friends, and lots of really bad poetry. I had some good laughs. When I read the above statement, I giggled at how ridiculous it was, but I was also surprised at my boldness. Then I realized maybe I have lost something along the way.

Maybe in my desire to avoid pride, I’ve avoided seeing myself as the hero I am meant to be.

Maybe in my “maturing,” my attempts to see the world for what it is, I lower my expectations so I am not disappointed, putting to sleep the dreams of my childhood.

Sure, maybe that girl cared more about her name being out there then the beautiful and sacred process of writing , but she knew without a doubt what she was born to do.

At times I still know, but at times I let “practicalities” speak, damning voices of reason.

After all, I am 26 and I have no degree in literature. I’ve never even taken a college course. I still can’t spell. My grammar sucks. (As if you haven’t figure that out) I haven’t been published anywhere in print. Any attempts to be published have been rejected or ignored.

Of course, I haven’t tried that hard.

But right now I am working on an amazing book. I like to say that it’s one part retelling of a classic story, one part prophetic commentary on the church, and one part cookbook. It’s not my original idea, rather a collaborative effort that I am convinced came straight from God himself.

(Whoa, that’s a lofty statement. Not really. Even atheist artists will admit inspiration comes from something outside of their own minds, that they are simply willing vessels telling a greater story.)

So, this book may not make it to the New York Times Best Seller List, but at the end of the day I go to bed satisfied. I know despite the hard work, despite the times of not believing who God has made me to be, the times I participate in this awkward dance jumping between self-loathing and narcissism,

I am doing what I love.

I am living my dream, and it’s a gift to be able to do so.

So yes, maybe I can learn a thing or two from that funny seventeen year old still rattling around inside me somewhere, wanting desperately to fit in and stand out at the same time, really just wanting what we all want: to be loved and happy.

Maybe I can tell her she is ok, she will be loved, she will live an adventure.

She will write things like no one has ever written, simply because,

no one else is me.

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