Voyage to Atlantis (My journey back to writing.....)

Life has a way of coming back around full circle. It has a way of reminding you of things forgotten. Ever since I could remember, I've enjoyed speaking, acting and most importantly, writing. As a little girl, I would write poems, short stories, songs and the list goes on. I would present my craft to my family and friends through performances and presentations. I was never shy. I expressed myself with confidence and eagerness. I've always enjoyed speaking in front of crowds and spending countless hours in my room writing and thinking deeply about the world around me. My mom would catch me staying up late past bed time writing song lyrics and poems. She would always tell me "Get to bed and start again tomorrow!" Although I would listen for the time being, eventually I would get up and start writing again. I couldn't help it. Writing was definitely an intricate part of my life. My interest for writing continued throughout my childhood. In grade school, I received writing awards and of course all A's in my language arts classes. My teacher would always tell me that I had so much potential and that I should become an Author. During the time, I didn't think of writing as a career. I wanted to be a Pediatrician. I wanted to help sick kids. Writing was just something I did for fun. I actually enjoyed creating the most intriguing characters and writing poetry. In the fourth grade, I remember writing an essay on "kids saying no to drugs." I wrote about three - four pages on the subject. My teacher was impressed to say the least. day the entire school went assembled in the auditorium to listen to a guest speaker from the D.A.R.E. program. Boy..... was I in for a surprise. As we all listened to the presentation, my name was called out of the blue. I was so nervous, but still very excited. I had won an award for writing one of the best D.A.R.E. essays submitted in the entire school district. I didn't even know my teacher had submitted my essay. I remember her telling me after the presentation...."Don't ever stop writing! You have so much potential!" Well guess what? I did stop and I bet Mrs. Angela Knox would be so disappointed. But before I gave up personal writing completely, I continued to receive accolades and awards throughout middle and high school for my various pieces. I honestly didn't think anything of it. I thought writing was just something everyone did well naturally. I didn't think of it as a talent or an art. It was just simple. You read and write. The end.

When I started high school, I remember my freshman English teacher switched me to AP English classes right in the middle of the year. She said, "You know you shouldn't be in here." I secretly knew it too, but it was just so easy. I could literally sleep in class and not miss a beat. As I journeyed on through high school, I continued to master every essay assignment as I did in the years prior, but unfortunately my personal writing ceased to exist. I consumed my time with cheer-leading, track, choir, friends, etc. As a high school student, it didn't seem cool to share my poems and short stories. It seemed weird. I started to just write out of necessity. During my sophomore year, I received an award from the state of Texas for making a perfect score on the English TAAS exam. I didn't miss one single question and I received a perfect score on my essay. I was presented with a trophy filled with gold stars. It was pretty cool. Although I was excited and proud - I didn't think much of it. I would literally write essays at the last minute and still manage to receive A's. It was almost a game to me....I didn't try at all...I just would write.

Fast forward to senior year...I wrote stellar essays to every college I applied to and received official acceptance letters extremely early. I was on cloud nine. I thought to myself..hmmm college might be a cake walk too. Then, BAM!!!!This is the point where I stopped writing anything for fun. I suddenly didn't feel the need to write my thoughts and ideas anymore. My creative juices abandoned me. My new passion was to live life on my own. I was so excited to leave home. I exhausted my extra time with shopping for college, hanging out, etc. I didn't write poems and short stories for joy anymore. The next time I would write would be out of necessity. After all, I entered college as a biology major. I attended science classes and labs most of the time. When I wasn't in a science class, I filled my electives with Shakespeare, poetry and creative writing courses. I still remember when a fellow biology major peer asked, "Why do you take so many English courses as electives?" I simply replied "it's fulfilling." This fulfillment eventually lead me to change my major to English. Although I loved science, I couldn't shake the natural feeling that overwhelmed me while studying the art of writing. As an English major, I had the same experience as high school. I cranked out 15-20 page essays like it was nothing. I remember receiving a C on one of my essays and totally freaking out. I thought to myself..."I never received a C on an essay........what the heck!" Long story sources were out of wack and my last minute work started to show. Fortunately, I still managed to finished that course with an A after learning from my mistakes. I went on to graduate with Liberal Arts Honors distinction.

As I started grad school, my passion for writing started to gradually creep back into my thoughts. I was intrigued by various global issues which increased my yearning for a deeper intellectual connection with my colleagues. I was no longer distracted by the many facets of undergrad life which had stolen my years of my craft. I was excited to write from authentic inspiration again. I created poetry centered around social events and crafted controversial, global essay topics. As time passed, of course my free time for writing decreased once again. I graduate with my Masters degree, became a new mom, wife, and a professional. My schedule was hectic to say the least. I didn't have time to talk with friends and I definitely didn't have time to write for fun. I attempted to start a blog on the popular weebly site, but soon slacked off which eventually led me to lose interest. Sadly, writing for joy was completely out of the equation at this point.

Presently, I'm beyond fortunate to continuously find myself in situations where I frequently come face to face with my passions again. I speak. I travel. I create. I network. I collaborate. But most importantly, I write.

As I mentioned earlier, life has a way of coming back around full circle. There is always a silver lining. We just have to open our eyes. Although I left writing...writing never left me.

I've finally had a chance to "be still" and get back to what I love again. Although I hate that Covid -19 has reared it's ugly face and has caused so much strife, I'm happy to have a chance to reconnect with that amazing little eight year old girl again.

-Lynn Garner

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