A Love Letter to StoriesSubmitted by Michelle Vishnefske on Thu, 03/16/2017 - 2:20am
Stories have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Memories of my mom reading to me are some of my most cherished. Being swept away to adventures that took form in my mind was, and is, my favorite form of magic. At five years old I came to the moment that is burned into my mind. Finally, I was to learn how to translate the black and white symbols into words. Slowly those symbols began to make sense, until I could read the stories I so loved.
Sometime during my childhood a revelation struck me. A real flesh and blood person created those stories. It may seem laughable to adults, but as a child, this was inspiring to realize. I wondered what it must be like to have that as a job. To make anything you wanted jump into existence. Over the years I tried my hand at short stories, but I finished few and never showed them to anyone. It would be interesting to go back and read those childhood stories, but I am not sure any have survived. My longing to write grew as the years went on. I dreamed of the day I could confidently call myself a writer. I wanted, more than anything, to see my name in print.
My degree is not in the arts. It took me years of being away from college to come full circle and return to study what I have always loved—people. I am going for a degree in social work. When I decided on that, I feared I was giving up on my dream of being a writer. My short time back at school has showed me quite the opposite. I have written more in the past few months than I have for ages. In my chosen career path I strive to learn about people and how to help them. Understanding people, I now believe, can only help me in relating the stories of humankind.
Stories have never lost their magic. I have traveled to Sweden, Africa, and lands which only exist between the pages. I have been propelled into ancient Rome and the midst of the Revolutionary War. I have seen the deepest reaches of space, solved mysteries, and attended Hogwarts. Every story adds new perspective to life, which I carry with me long after the words run out. They never really leave me.
My greatest hope is to give to someone even just a fraction of what I have received from other writer’s works. Each new character who appears in my head need a place to live. Most, even now, never leave my notebook. But I am trying to get better at sharing the ones I believe in the most. I am grateful to have found the magic, not only in reading, but in writing. I keep a place for both in my life. For if I go too long without either, a hunger grows inside me. I crave to devour books and short stories. I crave to create. Much in the same way I do my morning coffee or a bar of dark chocolate. No matter my career, no matter where I go, stories will always be there to bring me to new lands and prod me to give them life.