Pink Pen

Pink Pen

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*Scholarship Submission*

Sitting in the middle of my chaotic room with ideas floating in the air and frustration in the flawed strokes staring back at me, I am consumed. Swallowed yet swimming in wonder and reality; set free yet bound by every opportunity that presents itself to my mediums. I look up to find it all around me. It’s clear in that moment how I adore and despise the mess that is my creativity. While some days the mess is my joy, other days I lose myself in it. I was lost when he knocked on my door.

One Wednesday night when my dad came to pick me up from youth group, I slipped into the back seat and the complaint spilled out of my mouth, “I think I lost my favorite pink pen.”

“Do you know where you left it?”

“Oh there’s no telling. It’s fine.”

Although in the grand scheme of things it was fine, in the moment as ridiculous as it is I wasn’t “fine.” That pink pen gave a breath of life to black and white notes. There were definite moments when that pink pen gave color to the world around me. Losing it was like losing a small drop of hope. Somehow that pink pen snuck itself into my being. Losing it meant I also lost a piece of the perfection I crave. Every wrong detail added to the mess. It piled on and weighed on my heart with all of the other ridiculous little things that get in the way of glimpses at perfection.

A few days later I heard the knock on my bedroom door. There, sitting in the middle of piles of dirty laundry, last week’s homework, tomorrow’s project, empty ideas, and selfish ambition, I looked up at the door annoyed. In the moment I was aggravated by every wrong detail. I was consumed with the imperfect. Bitterness manifested into a spiteful comment I muttered under my breath as I shuffled through the junk to open the door. I looked up to see my dad on the other side. He handed me a pen, a pink pen. Confusion took the place of my frustrations until he said, “I saw this at the store today and remember you had said you lost yours.” It hit me and in one second my mind flipped from dark to light.

Life had cluttered all around me and I was losing sight of the floor when he knocked on my door. He brought me joy in the middle of my mess. Every day he looks at me with hope. I’ve seen that look over and over again but it took a desperate moment before I saw it. And I would have never felt the bliss and clarity in that moment without the fear and confusion from the moment before. Losing a piece of perfection gets me one step closer to finding myself. But I can’t do it alone. I can do it because of what he’s given me. I am incomplete without my pink pen, without the joy he instilled in me. Nor can I pursue anything without a mess. No matter where I go or what I do I bring every amazing and every terrifying moment with me.

Order and chaos. Light and dark. Good and evil. I am the joy in the mess.