Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm A Barbie Girl

When I was little, I loved to play with barbies; as I grew up that love didn't really wane. My fascination with barbies extended well beyond that period in a little girl's life where it is cute to have her baby in the cart at the grocery store, and into that stage where people might look on and with an upturned nose ask the question, "Isn't she a little old to be playing with dolls?"

Yes, indeed I am sure there was a point where I landed myself in the latter category. Of course at the time I claimed to have a valid reason. My little sister was six years younger than me, what else were we supposed to play together?

It wasn't until much later in life--about a month ago really--that I realized my fascination with barbie dolls had very little to do with the actual playing aspect. Playing with them gave me the opportunity to mold and create a world and then to spend hours inside that world, living out stories in my mind. It gave me a chance to close that door on reality and to escape into something beyond the four walls of my bedroom.

When I was little I could play with anything and turn it into a story (for now we will just pretend they were fantastic and ingenious stories). In elementary school, my friend and I used chess pieces to play our version of The Lion King. Big Sis' can tell you that when we were really young and shared a room, I used to make my hands the characters in the story. Eventually I learned to just let my imagination play the characters. This discovery was very beneficial. Though sometimes, especially on long car trips, I will get caught staring off into space and my sisters will ask, "do you need something to do?" Nope, I am actually very entertained.

Unfortunately, it took me a long time to realize that meant I liked to create stories. I just thought I was a daydreamer. Reality was, I had never thought I was very good at telling stories. When I tried to tell a story out loud, I would get caught up in the details, skimming over important ones and winding up telling very little of what actually happened. Whereas some people tend to kill a story with too many details, I tend to never let it live because of too few.

Nor did I ever really know that I enjoyed writing. I hated it in school. I just kind of thought writing was one of those things that only a select percentage of people were privy to do. It involved the ability to manipulate literary devices, the use of really large words, and an exceptional understanding of grammatical rules. And definitely the ability to write poetry. I fit into none of these categories. Literary devices might appear but only by accident. I might try to use large words, but chances are I will use them incorrectly. And well, I am sure if you read this blog regularly you know my tendency to have grammatical errors. I won't even discuss my extreme lack of poeticism.

But I learned that writing was more than getting things written right. It is about giving life to a story. To me it has become a way to express all of those thoughts that get boggled in my mind. A way to pour out everything I've been thinking but can't seem to say. A way to spend hours daydreaming. A reason and an excuse to create stories in my mind.

Now writing has given me a chance to close that door on reality and to escape into something beyond the four walls of my bedroom.

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