P.J. Hernandez

I’ve been getting into this funk where I’ll think of something to jot down but never put any words on the page. You can call it overthinking — that’s one of a writer’s worst enemies. It’s the cousin of procrastination.

Although, maybe time and tide are weaving themselves together because the arrival of Valentine’s Day helped change that. If I’m honest, the love I have for written and spoken words helped me get my groove back.

One of my favorite films has this line that repeats in my head like a scratched vinyl record on the daily.

“Why is it that the words that we write for ourselves are always so much better than the words we write for others?”

In the film “Finding Forrester,” Sean Connery plays this reclusive author who shuts himself away from the public eye but then meets a teenage basketball player who has a passion for writing. Both find out more about themselves throughout the movie, as well as rediscover their love and passion for the craft.

Valentine’s is the season of love, as we all know. Flowers adorn grocery stores, chocolates sweeten up shelves, and you’ll see a bunch of advertisements swaying to buy jewels for your beloved. For most, the focus is always on significant others. But, I think we forget to show love for the things that make us who we are. For me, words raised me and helped keep me sane throughout the pandemic, whether they were spoken through raps or printed on pages.

Legit, I remember reciting lyrics and poems whenever I used to walk to the school bus when I was a kid. Similar to multiplication tables or the “Lord’s Prayer,” I’d spit the words out without skipping a heartbeat. Even now, when I’m driving to work or walking to the doors of our office, I’ll recite something in my head before entering — similar to a hymn.

You know, I don’t show enough love to the words in my life. Also, the more time I spend not writing, the more I feel I’m pushing away a loved one — like my pen — farther and further away from me.

That’s the worst thing to do to something or someone you love, or loves you — is to push them away. I can’t remember the last time I ever penned something, and that’s a red flag to how I treat my own words or pen. As thoughtful as I consider myself to be to others, sometimes I feel I’m heartless when it comes to my own craft.

It’s always helped me cure troubles in my life. Sometimes, I’ll flirt with a drink, or two or three, but it never really mended the pain like writing does. Writing to me is the wife that welcomes you home, and drinks are like flings. It’s always been my best friend.

One of the most important things I’ve learned was from my mother. She always told me that you shouldn’t wait for a holiday to show love to someone or something.

Even though I’ve neglected my words and pen time and time again — it’s OK. The reason is because whenever I write, it’s like seeing an old love.

And you want to know something?

They look even more beautiful than the first day I met them, and I fall in love all over again.

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