Even in my earliest memories, writing was part of my identity. I illustrated books about Mickey and the family trip to Disney World in first grade. Later, I wrote tedious stories of the Oregon Trail and played pioneer in my tree house. I moved on to keep meticulous journals of the boys I liked, the gossip I shouldn’t be sharing, and the otherwise normal happenings of a pre-teen and teenage American girl. In college, I attempted journalism and found news-writing to be barren of the creativity I loved about language. I settled myself into poetry and discovered I was capable in the description of feelings and inner experiences. I spent gobs of time writing and adored it. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, I married the love of my life, for whom I had written many-a-poem. Soon after, I became unexpectedly pregnant (however unexpected that can be, I suppose, when you’re married and making frequent love), and this changed nearly everything about my life, including writing.
I was never one who dreamed of marriage and babies, and so it was with great irony that I became to first of my friends to marry, and was breastfeeding and changing diapers while their post-college nightlife continued. When my work as a mother began, it was frightening and exciting and holy and infuriating. I was an information junkie, and the newly-discovered mommy blogs filled my mind and eased this tumultuous transition. I also found a desire to write again, so I started High Countries, hoping to rediscover a bit of the joy I had found in coffee shop corners. Though it wasn’t poetry or pondering for hours, it was something. Writing took another blow, though, when we moved 10 months later to Japan: suddenly, I was a baby again myself, relearning language and the proper behavior from the people around me. I remember feeling angry, wondering why God would give me an intense desire to use my writing, but drop me in circumstances (mainly, motherhood and overseas living) that seemed to hinder my creativity and passions. When, God? When will you let me use it?
More babies came, Japanese proficiency grew, and life marched forward; but still, this question in the back of my mind: When, God? Why, God? I’ve kept up with writing via this blog in spurts over the past 10 years. I want to say I haven’t been a faithful writer, because I haven’t posted every week, or even every month, but continuing through 10 years, 4 babies, and 2 languages seems enough to be called ‘faithful,’ I guess. I’ll keep on tapping here at High Countries. And I’ll keep on asking, When, God? Trusting He will answer in season, and knowing that perhaps He has already answered: Right now, Jamie. Just as you are doing.