When I was little, I was a spy.
Like, literally. I wasn’t a busy body or anything, I just liked to sit and watch people and write down what I saw, so I called myself a spy.
This manifested after I watched the movie Harriet the Spy. I fell in love with the secret messages and invisible ink, watching from perches where no one knew I was watching. Creepy for an eight year old? Maybe.
I started a spy club where we made a pledge/pact that we would never talk about being a spy to anyone. Even if they asked (everyone knew we thought ourselves spies, but it made it more mysterious and fun this way) we kept our mouths shut.
I had a notebook that I would take everywhere and write in all the time. I put detective stickers on the front that read “top secret” and “shhh” and had pictures of Picasso-like detectives with mysterious hats, peering through magnifying glasses.
I believe Harriet and I had something in common: we would both write to process what we were seeing. To this day, I am not a verbal processor and (clearly) write to digest my mind based on things that I’ve seen. Just like when I was younger. Just like Harriet.
I watch, I relate it to what I’m thinking (or vice versa), and then write about it. I write to sift through life, chasing down bunny trails and ducking in and out around corners, watching the thought move through the streets. Hot on its trail, watching how it develops, mapping its every move.