Discovering the Orchid Hill.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a University project that I had to do. The task was to write an informal essay. I decided to write about how I fell in love with writing and how I overcame a bought of depression. I hope this read brightens up your day and eases some tension in real life. If you are dealing with depression or any other mental illness, you are not alone. There are many help lines available to get you through your battle. I am here for you.

Discovering the Orchid Hill

I believed life started to take off in the summer of 2015. After completing a course in
pipefitting, I fantasized of a high paying job, a nice house, cars, you name it. I worked night shifts
at Dominion, waiting for a call that never came, like a ghost who’d never show.
After the late night camping parties and summer fun, September ended my high. The news
announced a major job cut from the oil industry, with thousands of layoffs and little hiring. My
family and friends couldn’t “hook me up” with work either. I was staring at a 13,000 dollar loan
repayment, without a job I worked and dreamed about.

Daytime becomes bleak when you work night shifts. I worked from midnight to morning
and slept until the evenings. For a slight duration, I never saw the sun for a few weeks. I was 18,
working every weekend, and drowsy during social events. I would even fall asleep during movies in
the cinema. Depression started to strain me.

One day after work, I went for a walk in a forest which used to be an old village. Rusty car
parts reached from underground like mummies. Decaying tins of apples juice blew around like
halloween mice. The leaves were blood red and the wind was chilly. Though the sun wanted to
warm me, Autumn was winning the seasonal war.
Being gloomy in a gloomy place felt satisfying, like the saying “the enemy of my enemy is
my friend”. Life progresses each day, changing for better or worse. This was my lowest point in life.
I sat upon a free and lonely hill, smiling at the deserted forest. A question popped into my head

“How could my life get worse than this?”

I could be homeless. My friends and family could be gone. My hometown could be torched
to the ground. I could be totally on my own. This was officially the birth of Bat.
This fictional character became my departure from anguish. Every bad thought I’d
imagine, I would discover how Bat would tackle these problems. The abandoned forest became Far
Wood, his home. He lived many years alone after an attack which killed everyone, but he survived
and has returned. I would wonder deeper into the forest and create a bigger world for my
character. This was the day I discovered my adoration for storytelling.

I kept working the job I never liked for the good pay, but found more appreciation for each
day. The routine of sleeping days away changed, as my walks through Far Wood became more
important than sleeping. Even when fall converted to winter, new opportunities and ideas came
with the snow. The whole story began to control me, but I've never been more peaceful.
I bought a notebook in 2017 to write down my ideas before they left forever. I realized that
many wonderful ideas were lost with time, and I wish I wrote earlier. I took the book to the lonely
hill, where my brainstorming erupted. From there, I could see the story playing out. The story of
Bat was developing, but it still never had a title.

It took weeks to come up with a compelling title. I wanted a title that symbolized the story
without using specific names. A title like “Silence of the Lambs”, where a short conversation
between Clarice and Hannibal that seems unmeaningful until the ending. I began to think of
symbols and how to give them a deeper meaning. My grandmother's birthstone was purple, and I
wanted to associate her in some way.
When I went to the forest one winter day, there was a tiny tree sprouting from the ground.
I never noticed it until that day, where I came up with the title. I imagined the tree as a lonely
orchid, as was Bat. I incorporated both as separated from others, but still strong and standing.
“Purple Orchid on the Hill” became the title.

In 2019, I finished writing my first book and started attending Memorial University. I’m
hoping to learn to polish my writing and make it better. My goal is to become an author and sell
my work worldwide. I keep editing my book weekly, and I feel it has potential. It’s a story filled
with war, love and retribution.

Life will change despite what you do to restrain it, and change is imminent. I became a
tradesman to a storyteller in weeks. To this day, it feels like the healthiest strategy to escape tough
times. This is what I want to do forever, create and tell stories. When your lowest point arises, it’s
an opportunity to reflect on what’s important. It frees you from everything with little worries,
granted chances at self appreciation. Depression can regenerate you, but can also kill if you let it.

Submitted: February 11, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Harley Lancaster. All rights reserved.

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