I recently came across several short stories I wrote in high school and college. I’d forgotten about most of them. My fiction writing professor at UT Austin told me the last time I saw him that I should not stop writing because as he said, “you’ve got something. That thing that can’t be named.” I think now they refer to that as the X factor or something. Who can be sure if it’s really true? We were at a bar, after all, and he had a few pints in him at that point.
As I skimmed through my old writings, I remembered his statement and thought, “Did I walk away from something I should have kept at? Is it too late to go back? Can I still even find words to string together and paint pictures of imaginary people and places?”
It’s never too, late, they say.
Whoever they are.
Maybe I will write more. Maybe I will pick up a pen or sit at the computer in front of writing software and make it real again.
Today, I’ll share a poem I wrote last year. Just something I jotted down in a journal and of no real value to anyone other than me, I think.
The Skin I’m In
by Jennifer Esneault
this skin that holds me in
holds me back
holds me under
it tells me it is mine
and I am its own
but I don’t recognize
it doesn’t match my insides
it’s ill-fitted and ugly
I’ll peel it off and pare it back
I can be beautiful again
Jeez, that whole poem reeks of poor body image. Perhaps that’s something I can work on, too.