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  • Writer's pictureesteban raposo

Finding Freedom Through a Forest of Words

As far back as I can remember, stories were IT for me. I mean, it's the only thing I can remember just wanting more and more of, ever since I was a little kid. Whether those stories came as movies, anime, TV shows, or books, I was all about them.

Then I grew up and realized I had to pick a major in college. After attempting a studio fine arts degree, I realized that creative writing was an option. I signed up for my first few classes and BOOM! That was it. I was hooked. It was like everything started making sense. I knew all the concepts, story structures, and it all just made sense. I had found my tribe.

A couple of years after I switched majors, I ended up meeting my best friend. And it exposed me to all the glorious nerdome the English curriculum offered. Not only that, but I finished my Bachelor's degree, graduating with honors.

Then life started coming at me with the full intensity of a crash test dummy hitting a wall at ninety miles per hour. The question was and remains - what do you do with a BA in English?

My answer at the time? Copywriting. Getting paid to writing webpages, descriptions, and sale pages for widgets and digits. And, I was right. Pursuing a copywriting career ended up taking me into marketing, then brand management, then paid digital advertising, and finally, I managed a team at a prestige paid media agency.

Are you reading that last paragraph saying, "well, that doesn't sound too bad?" You're right, it's not. And I gained many valuable life experiences from that path. I even met my wife because of my marketing job and she's still the best thing that ever happened to me..

BUT! I spent a lot of time avoiding the one thing I wanted to do, which was write stories. STORIES! Those precious stories that both entertained and taught me about life as I grew up. The stories that I obsessed over and still obsess over. Time loops that change everything and nothing, dystopian societies that hide secrets from the people, stories about friendships and imagination, the ones that made me cry at such a young age, and so many stories that we share with each other because stories help us make sense of the world.

So I'm trying this thing. This writing thing. This thing I want, yet struggle so much to do. It's like climbing up a mountain, except that mountain has a wall in front of it. A wall that I built myself and now have to figure out how to get around just to even climb the god damn mountain.

"God dammit wall! Can't you get out of my freakin' way?"

The wall does not reply because it is, in fact, an inanimate object.

It's awful and I hate everything I write. But I keep trying. Even with my life being as it is, with all its inconsistency, I'm still doing it. So, as long as I keep sitting at the keyboard and clicking those keys, I guess I'm yet to be defeated.

I'll keep calling myself a writer - for now.

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