When I Became A Writer: Daddy Issues and Redemptive Poetry
I’ve been blogging sporadically for about 3 or 4 years now. I never really identified as a writer until I started taking this Word Vomit blog more seriously which, is really a recent thing.
In terms of the arts, I’ve always identified more as being a musician because growing up as an Asian-American, music was sort of a pre-requisite to being a good asian. I did really love it when I wasn’t being forced to practice. I actually took up multiple instruments. In High School, I was voted best musician.
But I was never a writer. That’s a relatively new thing. But if I had to pick a point in time when I “started writing”, I would have to say… my 10th grade English class during the poems lesson.
I am not a poet… whatsoever. I could never really write poems. I still can’t. I can appreciate poems here and there but as a whole, I do have a hard time getting into them. But in 10th grade, we had to try and write poems, at least, if we wanted to pass.
I ended up writing this one poem that I called, “Daddy Never Wore My Tie”. Haha, I was such an emo kid. Anyway, that was the one line that repeated itself throughout the piece. I can’t recite that poem anymore but I’ll give you the gist of it.
There’s this Tasmanian devil tie. I think my mom bought it for me to give to my Dad for Christmas. I was a tomboy growing up so I never really liked all the pink things or Disney Princesses but, I loved the Tasmanian Devil and I friggan’ loved this tie. It was black and royal blue. A combination of colors I’ve always loved. It just looked so cool and I wanted so much for my Dad to like it too and wear it with pride to work. He never did.
So the poem sort of detailed the process of me as a child, over a substantial amount of time, passively-aggressively trying to get my father to wear the tie. It detailed how I researched how to tie a tie. How I pre-tied it for him and hung it on the closest hook so that if he were ever running late for work, he could just reach for it and be on his way. It detailed how I tried re-tying it to make it look nicer in case the reason why he still had yet to wear it was because the knot looked a little sloppy. The poem ends of course with, “But Daddy never wore my tie.”
It wasn’t really well-written as far as polished poems, syllable-counting, and stanzas go. I’d like to think that it was my first word-vomit. But, it was real. It was raw. It really moved my teacher when she read it and I remember her pulling me aside after class one day to tell me how much she loved my writing. That’s the moment, I’d have to say, when I found my style. That’s when I learned to write from my real life, my pains, and my experiences.
That tie is still in the closet. It remained tied and ready to go for years until a couple of years ago, I took it down and loosened it. It became creased from all those years of waiting. Looking at it now, you can still see the creases.
Over the years, I’ve learned to accept that my Dad isn’t like the other Dad’s I saw my friend’s have or in the movies/tv shows. I’d like to think that I’m ok with it or that I came out of it alright. But every now and then, I see that tie and feel all too well the deep creases on my heart. But I’m also reminded that the creases are fading little by little over time. And I remember that there’s still a chance. A chance for redemption, forgiveness, and healing.
No one’s perfect. We’ve all got our creases. But if we’re willing to come face-to-face with our demons, if we’re willing to go deeper… they don’t have to define us. Writing helps with that I’ve found. And for that, I’m grateful to be a writer. I’m grateful for redemptive writing.