There’s something extremely organic about writing in pencil.

 A real No. 2 pencil with an eraser feels innocent, legit and comforting. Writing with these pencils brings back warm memories and reminders of elementary school: the smells of crayons, paint, books and pencil shavings; the lighting; the vibrant, bright colors splashed all over the white brick; the buzz of excitement from hundreds of children, all there for the common purpose to have their minds shaped by their teachers—when learning was exciting, new, and not a chore or a hard life-lesson. You wanted to be there. School was fun, your friends were there and you wanted to learn.

 That’s how I felt anyway.

 Something about writing in pencil makes me feel like a legit writer for some reason as well. It’s an interesting concept of being catapulted forward into what I’m meant to be—my calling, my passion—yet it cements me back into my childhood, into my carefree happiness when “making an A” was so easy. You got rewarded for answering simple questions, or for just trying your best. A main concern was whether or not you would go outside for recess that day, or be stuck inside watching a movie because of the weather.

 Then, suddenly, you realize you’re no longer a child, but an adult.

 You’re thrust into reality where most of the time, at least for me lately, your best still is never quite good enough.

Now, instead of worrying about recess, you’re worrying about career paths or whether or not you’ll be able to afford paying rent, utilities and groceries that month. You start getting rejected by people over and over again after every job interview and in this economy, the job possibilities seem to abruptly stop coming in.

 Then come the questions. Is it me? Is it my self-worth? What did I do wrong? Am I cut out for this? Am I making a mistake? Why do I never seem good enough for any position? Is it a character flaw?  How am I supposed to get experience when nobody will hire me in the first place?  Why won’t anybody give me a chance?

Why did we stop using pencils?

 Why can’t writing with No. 2 pencils be the “norm” and be thought of as professional with important matters and documents?

 Maybe it’s because, with a pencil, you can always erase your mistakes, start over, and others will be none-the-wiser.

 Maybe that’s why we’re forced to use pen later on in our school careers—to prepare us for “real life,” because in “real life” you can’t just simply erase your mistakes.

 They’re permanently there for all to see.

 Even white-out still shows the sign of a mistake made, though it’s easier to mask what that mistake actually entailed.

 However, everyone is still aware it’s there—especially you, because you know what lies beneath that fresh, pure, clean white line—the line which tries to be inconspicuous and blend in with the rest of the paper, but it is never quite the same color.

Pens taught us to learn from our mistakes and to be constantly reminded of what we did; to study it, to analyze it and work toward acceptance—acceptance from ourselves and acceptance from others. They teach us not to be too proud to admit we were wrong.

Even computers and typewriters are not fool-proof. With typewriters, when you crumple up the paper to throw it in the garbage can, the evidence is still there and you have to start over from the beginning.

 At least you have that option of a clean slate.

 Whether our past is saved by cookies on the internet, our documents in our hard drive or in the trash bin, it’s still there.

 Even spell-check on Word documents allows us to appear perfect. It allows us to rely on something or someone else to catch our mistakes and sometimes automatically correct them.  

 Our mistakes are corrected before we are even aware we are making the same mistake over, and over, and over again.

 I love pencils—for the sentimental value and the ease of being able to erase your past in a few flicks of your wrist.

 However, maybe some people should begin using pens from the very beginning—to learn how it’s okay to be vulnerable and to make mistakes, to feel at ease admitting they were wrong and to not be able to hide from their flaws and imperfections and be secretive.

 Being honest and true and out in the open.

 To be naked.

8 thoughts on “Pencils

  1. pencils remind me
    of crisp fresh gold starred scribblings
    love the sound they make

    This was a wonderful piece of writing, although I was laughing because I always bore down so hard when I wrote and for some reason had crappy erasers, so anyone and their brother could see where I’d erased and redone! You must’ve collected WAY more gold stars than I did in elementary school! 🙂

    Thanks for Your lovely post and Cheers!

  2. Hey again! Thanks so much for bopping over to my place and for the wonderful things you said! And for whatever it’s worth; Your gravatar is adorable and I know more people will read you if you link your name back to your site! Just go to your dashboard and click ‘user’, then click ‘profile’ and scroll down the page. When you see ‘website’, type in your entire address here, being sure to start with http://

    Have a Great One!

  3. Thank you so much for your advice!!! I think I did what you said correctly…I feel a little silly but I’m not sure I understand what I did? Anything to get more readers I’ll do, but I was just curious as to what this does

    Sorry!! =)

  4. Hey! No worries….someone had to tell me too! I love this new theme you’ve chosen. And you did go to the right place, so it links, but it doesn’t seem the right address is there. looks like maybe an extra one of these / was put in at the beginning. Give it another go…

  5. Thanks again. I think I did it correctly this time. It’s only showing two // on my actual profile page. Does it make it just link to my profile when people click on my picture when I leave comments or something? I promise I’ll leave you alone soon! Sorry!

  6. You’re so funny! You’re not bothering me, really! I am about to dodge out the door to a very sweet friends house for homemade soup! Yum! So I’ll check back in tomorrow to see if you got sussed. Still not working from this end, but you know, sometimes with wordpress it just takes a bit for things to work. I told a guy this same thing the other day and it took it a while to work. To be positive, you could just copy and paste the address, but I’m sure you’re doing it right. I’ll try it in the morning and let you know if it worked. And yes, it makes it so whenever you comment, people can just click your name and they’ll land here in your wonderful words. You’ll get a lot more readers and I know they’ll like you!

    Oh! I’ll open my comments up so you can just leave a comment on my place and then just click your name and see where it takes you.


  7. Hey! You probably already know this by now, but looks like it works. Didn’t from the old ones on my site, but just clicked it here and it took me right to your home page. Well done and Bon Voyage! 🙂

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