A lot of friends and relatives have asked me why do I blog and where do I get all the things I write about. Honestly, I don't know. But what I am sure of is that I like love to write. Although I know I am not as good as a Jessica Zafra or a Kahlil Gibran, writing is something I truly enjoy and happy to do.
I could not remember when it all began but I know it was through a diary, yes like a Dear Diary, which I started when I was 12 and kept writing my daily thoughts 'til I was in my 20s, before blogging became popular. Aside from that my love for writing was enhanced when my Dad started working overseas and we had to write him letters. Back then there was no internet yet, and the telephone is the only other means to communicate aside from snail mail.
|a Sept 15, 2003 entry in my old diary...|
Every week my mom would ask my sisters and I to write a letter to my Dad, detailing how our week went and our activities in school. And write we did, with zest and eagerness (because we don’t want to do a voicemail - recording our voices on tape. We felt silly talking in front of a cassette recorder).
After a year or so of writing to my Dad, our whole family was granted a resident visa to Jeddah and off we went. Our letter writing didn't stop there as we now had to write letters to our relatives back home and also to select friends we left behind. I also had a semi-boyfriend then whose letters I replied once or twice.
Who didn't know that Saudi doesn't have any theaters and clubs and that TV shows are monitored and go through rigid censorship? Even cartoons are being censored. Without any decent channel to watch, my sisters and I turned to reading which I believe started our love affair with books and eventually expanded our vocabulary. We read all sorts of novels we had access to; those left behind by expats who resigned were taken to a huge gym and billiard hall of the condo building. That's how mainly we spent our days in Jeddah (aside from shopping and watching New Kids on the Block concerts in betamax).
When I went to college, I 'unintentionally' joined the college publication (The Thomasian Engineer or TE). It was my best friend who wanted to join and I accompanied her to the 'qualifying exams' where aspirants are made to write various articles and essays on the spot. One staffer asked me to take it too since I was already there. I did and topped the test. My bff didn't make it.
Anyway, the college paper served as my practice field in writing (and eventually blogging) although aside from writing for the paper, I love the people I worked with more than anything in school back then. The best thing that happened to me in joining TE was the friends for life that I gained. I wouldn't have survived the 5 grueling years of engineering if not for them. I think that's worthy of a separate blog.
While writing for the college paper, our advisers often told us that joining TE was more than just writing but a preparation for us when we join the 'real world'. I never understood what they meant until I graduated and started working as Methods Analyst for a bank. Aside from the fact that my job involved studying systems and procedures, I also had to write them. Jeez, and that was a lot of writing.
My next jobs all came with having to write procedures, training materials, or quality and productivity reports. And even though internet is now available and access to free essays and documents is as easy as brushing my teeth, I am proud to say I didn't need to resort to that. And thank God I was never one of those supervisors who issue memos and their subordinates laugh at their grammar and sentence construction.
Currently, my role at work doesn't necessitate for me to write at length except for dramatic emails when I had to argue my point across. So I blog. I blog about what I see, what I hear, what makes me happy, irate and sad. I write about my kids and their antics. I jot down the food that I eat, places I visit, people I meet. It's a great way to document what and where I am now. I love writing and with blogging (and my old diaries) I am certain nobody else needs to write my biography.