At the peak of my career, if friends and family didn’t live in my city, I lost connection with them. Many attempted to communicate through texts, but texting for me was a means of transmitting information. Text conversations were for 14 year olds and people who didn’t have anything important to do. If you wanted a conversation, we would take a call or meet in person.
After my career ended, I returned to my hometown in Minnesota. I was isolated in a studio apartment, no friends nearby, and outside it was -10 degrees. I was lonely. I texted a friend who I had only met briefly in Europe and exchanged a few messages that day.
The next day, she texted, “hi”.
Texts like these drove me insane. State your purpose! I texted, “Hi, how are you?” And a conversation started. At some point, she wrote, “The punctuation makes you seem mad lol”.
Ever since my career ended, a career with math puzzled, I had been studying writing and grammar and reading books with names like “Building Better Sentences”. And so I texted like I wrote an essay.
This woman wasn’t writing essays. She was talking through messages. She wasn’t stating facts punctuated and empathized with a period. She was expressing herself.
If I wanted to connect, I needed to relax my formal writing habits.
When I loosened up these writing rules, I started having to text with my phone plugged into a charger. One night we texted for 4 hours, our phone screen rarely clicking off. We could’ve called or facetime and it would have also been pleasurable, but texting was more. And texting became important in my life.