Note to Self (90) My artistic rebellion

My life has always been about writing. Already as a little kid, I knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

Words are my thing.

It’s difficult to explain to people who don’t write why I enjoy doing it so much. Some see it as a complex intellectual exercise; others simply don’t understand the point.

I agree, in comparison to painting, acting, singing or dancing, writing could make you look like a boring nerd in the eyes of many. I have no cool break moves to show you. I’m completely inept at drawing anything containing more than two dimensions. I suck at acting, because I laugh all the time. And singing? Um. Yeah, I could sing, but after five minutes I’d lose my voice.

So here you have it. I’m mediocre at every other art beside writing. Putting words down on paper is what excites me, relaxes me and helps me escape from my every day routine.

There’s a little something you should know about me. I didn’t always live in New York. I didn’t always speak English either. I was born in a small town in the center of France, and I stayed there until my fifteenth birthday. After that, my family moved to the South and we enjoyed the sun and the beaches of the French Riviera. When I was 22, I fell in love with a New Yorker, and I moved out.

I didn’t simply change address and buy a house 500 miles further North. I had to go through an entire process to obtain a visa, find a place to live, continue my legal studies, and… See, there’s something else about me.

I never felt French, and I always wanted out.

There were many reasons for that feeling to grow and develop. I was bullied as a kid, and never really found my place. Wherever I went, I didn’t like it. People acted weird, didn’t understand me, and also rejected my German origins. After many years, I simply had enough. I got the opportunity to find somebody who allowed me to make my dream come true. I left thinking I’d never return to Europe, at least, not permanently. My chosen identity was American.

I also tried to forget my passion for writing.

How did this happen? I just got busy becoming a lawyer, and I thought such distractions should end since I’d undertake a serious career. Plus, I didn’t think my English was good enough for me to write fancy novels. I decided to simply erase this part of my life. I was married. Time to act like an adult, I thought. Writing belonged to the dead world of my childhood.

Things, however, didn’t stop for me here.

It certainly took a while to realize what I was missing, but these years didn’t go to waste. On the opposite, I built a new range of emotions and feelings I wasn’t aware of before. I matured, like a good wine. Everything happened for a reason, and I knew exactly why I picked up writing again. The divorce was just the trigger of something much bigger.

I realized my English wasn’t different from what you hear in movies, or directly on the streets of New York City. I spoke like everybody else, even managed to mimic the accent. I blended in, not to become different, just a better version of my old self.

From that moment on, possibilities were endless.

Words flowed easily once I let them pour down my page. There was no way of stopping them from invading my every day routine, reminding me how much fun it was to play with them in the first place. I don’t think I’d have achieved such a level of dedication had I not gone through everything I put up with. The good and the bad, they made me who I am today.

I use these words to talk about my life, and mostly New York City. When I reminisce about the old Europe, I feel a bit strange. I haven’t forgotten my roots. I even sometimes miss them, but could I ever go back and settle down? I’m not so sure about this. I really like it here, despite all the flaws and issues people deal with, it’s still a nice place to live. I don’t think I’d have found such a welcoming environment where I grew up.

These feelings are mine, obviously. Other people will tell you the United States sucks balls. They don’t know anything about history, and they don’t care about soccer. Their food’s crap and they tend to impose their vision of the free world onto everybody else. This is a stereotyped version of what certain individuals could actually say.

Everything’s possible. Just seize the right opportunity and embrace the journey. There’s no perfect place anywhere, unless you make it your own. I transformed my existence by moving away to a new country, but mostly, I took control of everything in my life so I could find happiness in everything I did.

New York City has become the background for my stories and is the greatest source of inspiration I’ll use for now. Yet, I won’t stop here. Who knows? I might end up leaving the US to go some place else, very far away from the noise and the crowd.

Come look for me in fifty years and you’ll find me sitting in the middle of nowhere, writing under a willow on my laptop. Yep. Writing offers certain luxuries like that. Call it insanity, or addiction. I personally found the perfect term to define this state of mind.

I branded it “artistic rebellion”.

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