This is an essay I wrote for my Creative Non-Fiction class.
I write because I feel I have something to say. As a white, middle-class, American male, I feel I get lumped in with the white, middle-class, American male stereotype. Yes, there are worse stereotypes, but I don't like getting categorized like that. One of my best friends, Pepe Robles, a native of Huacho, Peru, accused me, in the best way, of having an “envase gringo, contenido peruano.” Roughly translated, this means a gringo container, Peruvian contents. That's a label I wear with pride. I write to show that all is not as it appears on the outside.
I write because paper is a shield that allows me to strip away the armor that I use to protect and hide my true self. I can bare my soul and let myself be vulnerable because when it's on paper, I can distance myself from it.
I write because writing allows me to be paradoxical.
I write because I don't like confrontation. Every day I see people commit acts of sheer stupidity. Rather than be outspoken about said stupidities, I take the passive-aggressive route and write about it.
I write because there is no “backspace,” no eraser for the things that come out of my mouth.
I write because it's therapeutic.
I write to find my truth.
I write to figure myself out. I'm 33 now. For the first 25 years or so of my life I tried to be the person I thought my parents, siblings and friends wanted me to be. I finally figured out that living that way was too stressful and that I wanted to be who I wanted to be. Writing helps me feel my way down the pitch-black hallway of self-discovery. Writing shines a flashlight on the cancerous traits I want to surgically remove and on the atrophied attributes I want to exercise and develop.
I write because I enjoy putting an actual pen to actual paper.
I write because I enjoy writing.
I write because if I don't write down these thoughts running through my head I will forget them. And, to be honest, and maybe just a tad egotistical, some of these thoughts are just too cool to be forgotten.
I write because somebody has to, and nobody else is going to tell my stories.
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