The Most Consistent Person I Know

When the claustrophobia of living in coronatimes began to overwhelm me this spring, I knew I needed to give myself new things to look forward to. So I decided to sign up for an online writing class this summer called “How To Write Essays” at the Loft, a haven for readers and writers that is located in Minneapolis. 

The first week, our instructor asked us to write a 250-word mirco essay introducing yourself to the group. This is what I wrote.

An old photograph of Emily P.G. Erickson, maybe age 3 or 4. She has a bowl cut and is standing with her hands clasped. She has on a red and blue reindeer sweater and has a red walkman on her neck. She is wearing Earnie slippers on her feet.
Emily P.G. Erickson, around the age she began to learn how to write.

Hi! I’m Emily, and I’m a writer. That’s still a new thing for me to say. Honestly, it feels like a lie. But I’ve come to think it might just be deeply true.

It feels like a lie because by the time I decided that I wanted to be a writer, it was after I had already been other things. A bikeway planner. A mental health therapist. A researcher. 

I wrote in the edges of my day. I journaled in the half-dark. I composed earnest Instagram captions. I imagined writing a book, yes, but someday far away, a cherry on the top of a sundae of a career in something else.

That vision changed slowly then all at once. The slow part started five years ago this week, when I became a mother and began interrogating how, exactly, I wanted to fill my days. Then, this January, when I was in Chicago helping my dad after his quintuple bypass, I found a box. When I brushed aside the photos of me with other Emilys and Megans and Lizes, I uncovered writing. My writing. Sheets and sheets. Some graded, but mostly not. I wrote about the environment (“We can’t keep destroying the rainforest!”). About psychology (“It’s not easy to be a good person.”). “You are,” my dad said, “the most consistent person I know.”

So here I am. A writer.

I look forward to learning from you all.

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a writer with a master's degree in psychology. She crafts thoughtful, compassionate essays about culture, mental health, mindfulness, and motherhood. Her writing has appeared in Scary Mommy, Motherly, Motherwell, and more. You can find the latest from Emily at www.emilypgerickson.com.

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