Self Expression Magazine

Allow Me to Introduce Myself…

Posted on the 11 May 2013 by Miz_odeph


“I have missed you Noelle…”

A simple sentence that hovers within the body of a short email sent into an inbox that has long since become a virtual ghost town. It is not the first time I have seen or heard those words. It is not the first time a complete stranger felt close enough to be so familiar with me. I have this ability to draw people into me with unintentional and sometimes destructive ease. And yet on this night, this email-this brief paragraph seems to graze at an inward wound that just won’t…no can’t heal.

Writing is a wound. The desire to create words and tell a story to a willing, insatiable and sometimes merciless audience can be called nothing but a wound. A wound that throbs when it’s cold. One that stings when no one attends to it. Constantly promising that perfection will be found with the last simile…the last metaphor…the final synonym. Writing is a wound that only a writer can understand. Other people look at writers with awe; and how else would you gaze upon a wound? Writers are the beings that God scorched with passion and expression. And the feverish pen that they bear is evidence of that hallowed scorching.  Evidence that they survived magnificence and must carry on with their existence. They must share this passion that they have been burned with and take other beings on a melancholic trip within the underbelly of reality. Because stories are for telling. Because fiction is merely fact cleverly cloaked in poetic melancholy. Fiction may not be something you have seen, heard or done, but it is more often than not something you wish you had done or may one day do.

This email is from someone who does not know me. She does not know the cadence of my voice. She doesn’t know that when I am under extreme tension I either talk too much or clam up. She doesn’t know that my appreciation for wine is now an obsession-and that after three glasses of a good red, I am road kill.  She doesn’t know that I claim to love cake…but that I don’t remember the last time I actually looked for cake.

She doesn’t know that I believe in the concept of mental soup. (Which I will explain later after I have established exactly what it is that I am trying to say) Or that I always seem to fall in love with someone I can’t have. She doesn’t know that I trust easily, despite the fact that I live and speak with cynicism. She doesn’t know that I love good food, and cooking for people…but I haven’t hosted friends in a while because I seem to always lose those. Friends.

She knows that I used to write. She started reading my (first) blog the same week I deleted it. She found it tragic, and funny, and relatable. She didn’t get to read most of my posts. She misses that woman. That endlessly charming, bold, expressive, woman who wrote those words. She says that she envied that woman because she seemed to have embraced the person that she was-flaws and all-and she was eating life with a plus sized spoon.

I chuckle at that.

I still haven’t fully embraced who I am. Not by a long shot. I still haven’t figured me out either. Even when I faced death head on this week, there was no brilliant AHA! moment for me. I cannot proudly say that I know it all. In fact, in all honestly I have done a quick review of this year and I can safely say that the cutlery I am using to feast on life? Yeah. Tiny tiny spoons.

When I first started blogging I was completely lost. I had nothing to lose and absolutely no one knew me. I simply stopped writing in my diary and put it on a WordPress page. Then I shared it with a friend. Who shared it with a friend. Pretty soon…I had an audience. A very tangible audience.

A reader is the quintessential oxymoron to the writer. A blessing. A curse. A reader is like that perfect mistress that can’t be forgotten. She demands perfection from the writer without using coercion. She sympathises when his pages are pregnant with blankness. She says nothing  on the days he navigates the desert that can be writer’s block. She offers a caress when he is sore from society and croons to him when he is wrought with grief. She understands him. But there are days when he gets comfortable with her love for him. And she retaliates with quiet criticism that sears through his brain like nails scrapping against an obstinate glass wall. It is rare for her voice to rise, but when it does…the writer does not sleep for weeks.

My audience loved me. Questioned me. Suffocated me. Encouraged me and criticised me. And suddenly I was visible. Suddenly it became too much. I would start writing about something I went through then delete the whole thing because I couldn’t see myself having to sit through a session of explaining myself to people who knew me. The stories I told were all real, and characters within those stories would see themselves through my eyes and they hated what I saw.

I was once told that it is difficult to love a writer because they always seem to read some hidden script inside you and then articulate it. And no one wants that clarity shown to them. Life is hard enough.

So I decided that I would no longer put up my diary for the world to see. I decided that I would only write again when I was ready to remove myself from my stories, and now I am.  And I decided to begin by re-introducing myself.

My name is not Noelle.

Noelle is a name my late mother (who I honestly believe was born eons before her time) secretly called me. I was born four days to Christmas and she found that name exotic and beautiful and Christmassy. But my father wanted to name me Christine and in those days, his word was law. So she called me her Noelle, when no one listened. And I loved it. Her eyes would twinkle when she whispered that name. It gave her a rush of joy…and I wanted to be part of something that made my mother giddy with pleasure so I personified the name. To me, Noelle was the perfect girl. So brilliant, so suave, so articulate. And whenever I felt timid or shy I would imagine what a woman named Noelle would do. I doubted they would be intimidated. It was the perfect pseudonym for me when I needed anonymity because as Noelle I was untouchable.

But I do not need a pseudonym anymore. I think Christine is a beautiful, simplistic name. I think that I no longer need to seek something exotic so that my mother will love me. I think she did, in her magical way, love me.

She was my first reader. I wrote her a letter when I was maybe 6 or 7. She was upset with me about something. I described her beauty the way I saw it…and why I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. She had a glass of wine in her hand as she read my letter. She sobbed and hugged me so tight. And she said in that voice drenched in happy and tipsy tears…

“One day you will move millions with your words.”

I didn’t really believe her then. She was tipsy after all. But the certainty in her hug. The conviction in her voice, the absolute adoration in her eyes…those stayed with me and followed me into each Sidney Sheldon and Jeffery Archer I read and absorbed, and onto each sheet of English composition paper my teachers adored.

Things will be different though….I will just simply upload stories as they come to me. It may be fact or fiction or fictional fact…in first person, third person, second person, letters, poems, prose…who cares? I will upload old things I wrote that you loved and hated, and new things I am sure you will love and hate too. But you are my mistress after all…and I will always come back to you. I only ask that we bury the name Noelle. And call me Christine.

Because you see… writing may be a wound for me. But I can never really stop until I prove my tipsy mother right can I?

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