293 Days: A Rite of Passage

Can I be frank for a moment? 

Lately I have questioned my writing abilities. Not my spelling or grammar.

Too many times has my pen sat still on a blank page To many times has the cursor sat blinking steadily, no letters following it. Too many times telling my friends that I have writers block. Taking a shower, letting my mind wonder freely Thoughts and words suddenly poor through. Just as I turn the water off, the words and thoughts stop too. I lose anything I had. 

I look through and read my fellow Project Wednesday writer’s pieces and become envious of their talent. They lead such extraordinary lives. So much more that mine seems dull and uneventful than it already is. Reading in awe, I wonder where they find the words to change the lives around them. Where do they find the ability to share such incredible stories? Why can’t I do the same? 

I have come to doubt my own talent in writing. Whether it serves a purpose or not. If my own friends even read what I write. I do need to note that I do get the occasional like when I share a piece on Facebook. More often though, it goes unnoticed. 

I may just quit. Stop all together.

I’ve thought this to myself for sometime now. Quit writing for Project Wednesday. 

Why do I doubt so much? All I’ve wanted to do in life is help others. Even if I have recently fallen and just finding my way back up, I’ll reach out and help someone else get back up along with me. 

I started to write to help myself focus my attention on the positive aspects of life. I had been dumped and almost every friendship fell apart simultaneously. I had never felt more unwanted than I did in those moments. 

No matter where I turned I felt lost. Even when I tried turning to God, I felt lost and alone. I decided to turn to an unlikely source that would help me refocus. Writing. 

In writing I found no judgment or criticism, I was free to express myself and let my feelings out. Redirecting the pain I was feeling into something positive. I found a voice I didn’t know I had. 

When I first started writing, I was writing every day. Taking my time and devoting attention to a single piece. Making sure there was always a point to what I had to say. A positive message.  As life moved on and the days passed my writing continued.  Slowly I went to writing only a few times a week, eventually a few times a month.  

The passion I once had had started to fade away. I found myself without a topic or idea of what to write.  The only topic that came to mind was that of the heartbreak I felt. I feel that I need to get away from that topic. The more I thought on it, the more I hurt. I also feared that I would start to sound like a broken recored. Continuously saying the same thing over and over. 

Whats brought me to this point is this months topic for Project Wednesday, Rite of Passage. I’ve taken time to reflect on my life and past. To see what events I’ve lived through that have served as a rite of passage. All the events I could think of seemed astonishingly  ordinary. From earring my Eagle Scout, graduating high school, even graduating from college. I’ve never really faced any true challenge in anything I’ve done in life.  Even though I have a genetic disorder its presented little to no challenges. With all of this I’ve come to question whether I truly have any story to really tell. To question if my words truly help anyone. 

Why do I write?

If I’m honest with you my original motives to start writing were selfish. Writing the stories I had in a journal had lost its usefulness. The thoughts just continued to be the same and begun to repeat themselves. One day while scrolling through Facebook I came across a page I had long ago liked and rarely looked at. They were looking for writers. So I submitted a piece that I had written for my own blog that failed and I have since abandoned.  

“Beautifully Imperfect” is the title. Focused on finding the beauty in our own cracks of our own hurt. Thankfully Project Wednesday liked it and I became a true official published writer. I was excited. I had an opportunity to reach out to people with my story. My first few pieces, in my humble opinion, really good. I truly felt I had a voice and I was sharing it. I fear I’ve may have lost it. 

Looking at a folder on my computer for my writing you will see a handful, or more, of pieces started and left unfinished. Either the mojo was lost or I couldn’t find the words to write. With each piece I questioned, whats my story. 

What is my story? Aside from the hurt and heartbreak do I truly have a story to tell? Are my mundane life experiences worthy of sharing? Does it have the capacity to create change in someone?

Each piece I’ve written is based on real events. Something that I have experienced and gone through. When I started with Project Wednesday I made a clear choice and promise to myself. No false stories. No fiction. Only true from the heart stories. 

Ive looked through my life events and experiences. Looking for my story. A story of any kind that gives a lesson or brought me into a new point of life. I looked for struggles, hardships, and challenges that I have overcome. Little come to mind. The ones that do seem small in comparison to that of my fellow writers. I shouldn’t compare my stories to theirs. Writing isn’t about that. Just like life, it’s about the journey and not the destination. 

My first piece for Project Wednesday was published 293 days ago. Give or take a few depending on when this piece gets published. 

In those 293 days I have sadly lost track of the real reason and purpose of writing. I have been to focused on the destination. I forgot that it’s the journey that teaches us more then getting to the destination will. 

Writing itself is a journey. 

Through writing during the past 293 days theres been a bit I’ve learned. 

I’ve learned that friends allow you to hurt. Listen to that pain and lift you up with words of encouragement and faith. They make you feel loved, by showing you love and compassion. 

I’ve learned that though God feels miles away, he’s only waiting for you to follow him. Place your hand in his and trust that everything that’s happening is but a small storm. 

Strength is more than having muscles. It’s knowing yourself worth and what you are worthy of. 

Courage is having the ability to be vulnerable and re-expose yourself to the potential of being hurt. Knowing all along that you have the strength to over come it. 

That love, love is to be cherished. Yes my ex broke my heart. I have screamed into my pillow that I hate her. That she is a horrible person for what she did. None of that is true. While we didn’t work out what we had was truly incredible and I was truly in love with her. I can never hate on someone I once said I love you to. 

While I don’t have any romantic love in my life currently, I have love from other places that I can focus my time and attention on. 

I have the love of my friends, who on a daily bases, support me and lift me up. Letting me know that this is all a process. 

Love from my family, who are supporting me in my career choices and helping me in my new hobby (learning how to play guitar). 

Love from God. The most unconditional, other than mom’s, love that there is. No matter how far we may drift and turn away. Patiently he awaits our return. When we do, he rejoices. 

I started to write for myself. To document my way and journey to healing and finding how to not only love myself, but find the courage to be vulnerable once more to rejection and hurt. To continue to be hopeful in love. 

God Bless and Positive Vibes. 

Niall Covington

Born with a genetic disorder, Niall knows what it is like to be knocked down. He has been there several times and he has been able to get back up because of faith and a small number of friends. Seeing others getting knocked down, Niall offers a hand whether he has just fallen or is on the way back up himself. Volunteering as a summer camp counselor for children, teens, and young adults with the same disorder, Niall hopes to inspire them to overcome life's road blocks. For Niall, writing for Project Wednesday is an opportunity to reach more people, and to help more.

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