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My Life In Words

I can remember the first time I ever wrote. I was just a little girl, maybe two or three. I don’t know how I got my hands on a pencil; I was so short I couldn't even reach the top of the table. But I did, and, well, like every normal toddler I saw the wall as the most obvious place to write. And write I did. Not words, of course, those were beyond my tiny mind’s ability, but not scribbles either. When my mother saw my series of little figures, she said my writing looked like a real language. A private language, one only I could understand, but a language nonetheless.

I did not get reprimanded for writing on the wall. I was not made to erase my work. Instead I was praised, and encouraged to write more. Perhaps this was what sparked my interest in language. Perhaps I had been born yearning to translate my thoughts into words, like some are born to paint, or to sculpt. But over the years, that wall filled up with my tiny characters and scribblings.

The wall has been painted over now, a pristine advance of warm gray coating the words of my childhood. But still, when I need inspiration or just want to reminisce on those early days, I stare at that wall and just wonder what all those little pencil marks, hiding beneath that single coat of paint, meant to my little toddler self.

As I grew up, the interest in writing that was kindled in me was nurtured into a larger and larger flame, an ever-present glowing warmth that has kept me company all my years. I wrote about my dreams, I wrote about the happenings of my life. Everything I experienced, words, phrases, would drift into my head like a poetic fog, one that I had to snatch and write down, lest it escape. One such dream that I captured on paper was, as I like to call it, the Princess Without Hair.

A six year-old me opened her eyes, returning from a misty land of jumbled thoughts and dreams. One memory was clear, however, like wiping away a small window of condensation in a steamed up mirror. Peering through that window in her mind, the six year-old saw a beautiful girl glaring at the reflection of herself in the rippling waters of a koi pond as all of her silky chestnut locks fell from her head, spiraling to the ground in a horribly graceful dance. The little child rushed to grab a piece of lined paper and, in the big, clumsy letters of a first grader, began her first story, a fanciful tale of a bald princess who seeks revenge on an evil squirrel witch named Sandy for cursing her.

That moment when I wrote my first story was one of the greatest of my life. It opened a door for me, revealing that writing is not just words in a sequence, but the ability to create, to imagine, to be ruler of your own world. Others writing can even help us better our own skill at the craft. I learned that in one of the most inspiring books I have read, Writing Magic. That book taught me to keep all of my work, however much I don’t like it, because any piece of writing is special, and shouldn’t be discounted. And that statement helps me get through the valleys of writing, when I just feel that I’m losing my voice. Not the voice of my mouth, but the voice of my mind, the true voice, the one that makes my writing as unique as a thumbprint. Whatever I write, I can take pride in the fact that it is my own, because nobody can ever steal my voice.

To be perfectly honest, this memoir feels incomplete. I have only experienced thirteen years of life on this Earth, and at this point in my existence, my hopes and dreams are facing towards the great expanse of time that is the future. My writing career is still only a little bird, growing in its nest until its wings are strong enough to fly. Reflecting back on my life, I realize that maybe right now it is best not to look back, and only forward, to experience life with an open, optimistic mind. When I am older perhaps I will write another memoir, and hopefully I will smile upon my achievements in life.





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