Borrowed Talent

I am not a writer.

You may be thinking , “what kinda introduction is this?” Well, I thought I’d just throw that out there to help you understand the conclusion of this post.

If you read the About Karmilia page, then you probably noticed how I wrote that I’m not a writer. This is true; I’m not a writer. And if you’re thinking that I’m just being “humble,” then give me a few minutes to explain myself.

During my first year of college, I took up English 101…

…which I failed. To put it bluntly, my teacher told me that my writing sucked in the nicest way she could. I was no fool; I could read the message loud and clear through the grammar, punctuation, and incomplete sentence corrections.

I sucked.

Discouraged and a bit hurt, I decided right there and then that writing was not going to be a part of my future. Just to be clear though, I was not pursuing a writing career. I was in school hoping to become a nurse… which also failed.

A few years later, after my humiliating failure, I started diving into books & blogs. I enjoyed reading a lot and, without realizing it, picked up on the way people wrote and expressed themselves. I Googled words to discover what they meant. I paid close attention to the words, punctuation, and grammar that people used in their books, blogs, and even on their Facebook posts. (I was fortunate to have grammar nazis/snobs as friends.)

Then, after being unofficially adopted as a daughter, I learned a thing or two about having a psychoanalyst and writer for a father. For one, I frequently found my adopted father asking me how I was FEELING. There always seemed to be a reason why I was feeling sad, angry, annoyed, or frustrated to my father, and he was determined to find out why I was feeling the way I was feeling.

This annoyed the hell out of me!

His interrogation about my feelings were met with anger and retaliation in the beginning. I didn’t like the sympathy nor the concern he gave me; It felt awkward and I was not used to it. However, things slowly started to turn around.

My father was patient with me. He gave me space when he saw my frustrations, but never stopped asking me how I was doing. Although I didn’t know what words to use to properly express myself, my father would guide me to help me understand my own feelings. Thus, a side of me I had not known before was awakened.

Pretty soon, I discovered there was so much I needed to express. There was anger, sadness, and fear that I had never really voiced before. There were thoughts and feelings I never even thought I had. For far too long I had allowed people to be my voice. I had allowed others to decide what I was or wasn’t feeling, what I did or didn’t like, and what I did or didn’t want to do.

Of course, I ended up feeling bitter and resentful towards those who never allowed me to voice my own thoughts and feelings. Yet I knew I couldn’t turn back the time and undo what had been done to me. At this point I had to forgive those who had abused their power and my trust so I wouldn’t continue living with anger & resentment. And I had to learn to give voice to my own needs honestly, without giving others the power to do so. The more I learned about myself and what I truly wanted and needed, the more easier it became to express myself.

But I wasn’t told I should be a writer… just yet. Nor did I spend me free time writing. So how did it start?

After struggling with some personal issues, I took the advice from my husband to go and seek help for myself. I didn’t know where to start, but a support group at a local church seemed better than nothing even though I had no clue what to expect from it.

I was in the support group to get better, and by all means I was going to get better no matter what I had to face or do to make my desire a reality. So when I discovered that one of the requirements to being in the group meant openly sharing your thoughts, your mistakes, and your past or present pain (which you had to have written down on paper), as terrified as I was to be open and vulnerable with other women I didn’t know, my determination to get better trumped the fear of exposing myself.
I’d take my homework home, pray, read my bible, and then study the questions I had to answer. After looking over the questions and thinking them through for a bit, I would then start to write. And boy, did I write A LOT. I wasn’t sure if I’d answered correctly, but I was told that there was no correct answer, so I went with what I believed was best.

I’d show up to the group session, read my answers out loud, & then fall into silence after I was done reading. Never, in a million years, did I think that my writings would reach any of the hearts I was reading out loud to…

…Which is why I was surprised when women started approaching me, telling me they loved listening to my stories. Pretty soon, comments like, “You should be a writer,” started popping up into our conversations.

And I? I was baffled.

What did I do? I didn’t do anything! My writing was no big deal. I was simply doing my homework- the very thing I was supposed to be doing to stay in group therapy and get better! I was not writing because I received an education and knew how to write stories. I was writing from my heart! I was speaking from the sorrow and brokenness of my soul. I was giving voice to the anger and pain that I had suppressed many times to please others who wanted me to remain silent.

There was no special ingredient to my writing.

But still I continued to receive compliments for my work. And I said nothing.

Finally, after losing my daughter, and sharing my pain, anger, and sorrow in the form of writing for ALL to see on Instagram… I, once again, received the same comments I’d received before.

“That’s it!” I thought, “I’m not a writer… but if this is the idea others have of me then I’ll do it. If I fail, it proves I was never a writer. And if I succeed… I still won’t believe it.”

I got right to work- I created an account, selected a theme, and started blogging. And before I knew it, I started falling in love with what I was doing.

So then why do I continue to insist that I am not a writer? Because I know there are others who studied, earned degrees, and know the art of writing 10x better than I do. Remember, I failed English 101 in college. If I have this amazing ability to write, it is only because God gave it to me to share my struggles, my sorrow, and the hope I have found in him with others. If I can express myself so well, it is because God placed people in my life that gave me the resources necessary to express myself a little better. Get this though, this doesn’t mean I don’t educate myself to learn punctuation and proper grammar. I invest time to learn how to master this borrowed talent.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. – 1Peter 4:10

At the end of the day, I know where I come from and what I can and can’t do. I’m a lot of things- a performer, a singer, a book nerd, an adventurer, and a self professed socially awkward introvert, but I’m not a writer.

I’m just a simple girl with a broken past and a bright future who loves to write.


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