My wife made me write this.
If you’re imagining that as a hand-drawn cartoon where she’s looming over me as I sit at a mechanical typewriter, banging this out under the threat of a rolling pin-inflicted wallop, thank you. You’re my people and we should watch Looney Tunes together sometime.
But no, she made me write this because she knows how important it is to me. This craft. Writing. Being here, with you.
She’s incredible, my wife. She is consistently confused as to why I don’t see myself the way she sees me. It’s clear, according to her, that I can do anything I want. Like creating shows. Or stories. Or steaks. Or snickerdoodles. Yeah, that’s right. I bake like a motherfucker. She thinks it’s sexy, so I got really good at it. She also likes witty writers, but I can’t write like I can cook. Not yet, anyway.
But I do these things because she loves me in a way that makes me feel guilty for being a regular-ass messy person. It’s a love that should be reserved for only the dopest things in life—like Phylicia Rashad or free will. But I get to have it.
And it’s pulling me through the toughest year I’ve ever had.
I’m changing. Growing, I guess? I feel less comfortable in my skin these days, and what’s underneath it is a person that is itching to create on their own terms. To be validated. To be seen.
Oh, wait. That’s molting. Like a bird or a lizard or something. Yep, that’s what that is. I’m molting.
Anyway, it’s making me feel all weird and shit. I doubt myself. I assume the worst. I imagine reactions from people so that I can stay frozen and safe. And I stop writing because I’m positive there’s nothing left to write about.
But my wife, my partner, my best friend … she’s not trying to hear all that. She already knows what I’m going to be, and tonight she told me to sit down and start typing towards myself.
If you’re reading, I’m happy you’re here. Even though I’m absolutely terrified I’m not going to write the coolest, funniest, most insightful little essays you’re ever going to read. But I need to do this. Today, it’s because my wife told me to. Tomorrow, it will be for me.