When I was in middle school, I remember asking for a calligraphy "how-to" book for Christmas. I have always been interested in cursive and handwriting. My favorite classes were always English, reading, and writing. Anything that had to do with the English language. Do you remember those sentence diagrams that our teachers used to make us put together to break out a sentence? I loved those. I know... I am weird. Anyway, I like to think that those early days were when the OPP story began...
In college, against all odds, I chose nursing as my career path, graduated, and then moved out to Seattle to put my degree to good use. When I arrived in the Emerald City, I was so happy that I made the move, but the hours at the hospital were sucking the life out of me. I couldn't eat at the right times, I could never sleep, I was not loving 12 hour shifts on my feet. This left me feeling uninspired and lonely.
So, I began to write. It started with journaling but I quickly realized that I didn't need to hear my own voice all of the time, so I started to write words down that other people said. Whether it be a comment that I heard a stranger say on my bus route, or a lyric in my headphones on my way to work... if it inspired me or hit me in some way, I wrote it down.
I started to collect these words on computer paper (don't ask why I didn't have a notebook), and believe it or not, the pile started to actually look "artsy". I would photograph them and post them to my personal instagram story every morning. I figured that if the words struck me, then they might strike other people too. It was a good way to start the day.
Soon, people wanted copies of their own, so I started mailing them to my followers. I was having fun sharing something that really resonated with me with others! I found joy that other people liked it as much as I did.
I finally realized that the night shift was doing me no good, so I had to get a new job. I found one at a fertility clinic and still work there today! It is the best, I love working with women and being able to provide support to my patients as a nurse. Every day, I learn something new and BONUS, I get to sleep at night time now.
Fast forward three years, I was engaged to be married, planning a wedding, and living with my future husband. All of the sudden, the pandemic hit. Crazy times. Stuck at home, I decided to do something new. Anything to keep my mind busy..
So, I started to do what I have always done and began to write. But this time, more seriously. I knew this could become a craft. So I bought my first legitimate pen-holder and nib. I practiced everyday. I dabbled in any kind of lettering that I could get my hands on. I then opened OPP for biz.
Today, in my desk drawer, I still have one of the brush pens that came with that Christmas gift. I like to think of it as a reminder of where this all started.
Ernest Hemingway said:
“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”
I whole-heartedly agree with him. I cannot wait to continue to write for you all.
Thanks for sharing this journey with me.