memories, writing

Why we write

A year ago today I started working at Seventeen. Aside from the calendar date and the obvious excitement I couldn’t shake, I hadn’t given much thought to the day’s events.

Timehop, however, quickly changed that.

The app, at 8 o’clock proper on January 22, revealed fun photos and tweets and posts from the year before, when I’d sought guys to interview for magazine features. Those reminders brought plenty of memories, but it wasn’t until I read about My First Day at Seventeen Magazine that I remembered how everything really went down. That’s when memories began flooding my mind.

How I exited the subway after that fourth stop, a block away from home but still seemingly lost in the city, in heels, while New York was under a state of emergency. How my shoes were still frozen from the morning’s snowy trek seven hours prior. How those relentlessness flakes poured down and iced my glasses so I couldn’t read the screen of my almost-dead phone, which wouldn’t call my roommate, who had only halfway become my friend the previous evening.

That’s when it hit me: That’s why we write. We write to tell stories. We write to remember. We should write more.

And if we don’t capture our memories while they’re fresh in the fronts of our brains, they’ll leave us. Someday when we don’t remember every moment of every day, we might wish we could.

I already wish I could.

So here’s your call to write. Write to remember the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly. Write down how you slept for almost 10 hours on your day off work, because you could, then binge-watched your favorite TV show and ate too many egg sandwiches. Write down how you tried to print those pretty rose photos at Walmart, so you could finally get out of your art slump and paint their outlines in oils, but how the photo center was “unavailable” and how you were miffed about it.

Write down how ridiculous you felt when you knew you were close to home and thought you’d catch hypothermia just before you stepped inside that Broadway McDonald’s—snow dripping off your coat, bag and shoes and onto the freshly mopped floor, that employee glaring at you with her mop and bucket in hand—on the first day of your glamorous new job. How you became very aware of that moment, that day, and knew you’d hold it dearly for a lifetime.

Write because, in actuality, those moments are fleeting, and they’re sure to bring the future you some kind of smile.



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