Revelations from a 15-Year-Old Josh

I’ve been writing again, and perhaps since I’ve specifically been working on screenplay about my former crushes and relationships, I’ve again realized just how personal writing can be.

For the past few years I’ve made a habit of keeping most of the things I’ve written – either for school, or  my occasional personal journal entries and stories. As “research” for this script, I went back into my hidden archives to see if I can find anything about a certain time of my life was blanking on (middle school – I’ve blocked out most of it, and for good reason).

Not finding what I was looking for, I did however come across a journal entry/free-write from when I was about 15, that touched on how I may have found my calling in writing, and perhaps a viable career path to follow – journalism (which I would pursue until Sophomore year of college, then drop like a Terrell Owens football.)

The paragraph itself is a little raw/unfounded and very stream-of-consciousness, but I found it interesting,  having sifted through a lot of angst and uncertainty in writing from my teenaged self, and settling upon a thoughtful, decisive moment that had a strong effect on my life for at least five years after I wrote it.

Here are some quick excerpts:

“After about 15 years of wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up, I think I might’ve found a suitable answer. Although guitarist in a punk/alternative band or comedian are perfectly reasonable ideas for careers, I think journalism might be a little safer.”

Note the inherent sarcasm that was just budding in my young mind. It’s also a bit funny (no pun intended) that I mention comedian, as it’s also something that in the past year I’ve given consideration to (at least in the form of writing a standup set).

I go onto explain why journalism makes more sense for me as a 15-year old high school student:

True all three involve a lot of talent and all three involve being hired (or getting gigs) which isn’t easy if you aren’t the best. So I figured since I can’t go anywhere in the rock scene without an electric guitar, and I can’t be a stand up comedian if I have no material, I at least can write freely and practice my writing skills.

A lot has changed in 8 years – not long after this entry, I did end up getting an electric guitar AND thusly joined a rock band (Bulkhead lives on!) And again, recently have developed some standup material (whether it be humorous to others, I really have no idea). While I obviously couldn’t have the foresight to know that I would eventually move to Los Angeles and pursue a career in entertainment, I did have the intuition to know that good writing takes practice. And I followed that plan throughout school, and even now with this blog.

While I didn’t stick with journalism, I stuck with writing and especially now that I’m attempting to get back into the groove of proverbially putting pen to paper and creating something tactile from a general idea in my head, it was very important for me to relive my early days, learning about myself and my skills as a writer.

And as for trying to figure out just what the hell happened during those blocked-out middle school memories, I’m not sure that’s a trip down memory lane I’ll come out smiling. Some stones are better left unturned.

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