Voice in Words

December 1, 2009
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It was 7th grade English, the classroom was humid, I remember the dusted fan in the corner near the window well over its expiration date practically gasping for a break, it’s rims red with rust. Mrs. Hayes was distraught as usual her frizzy blonde hair had completely turned white over the course of the summer break fitting her frazzled personality quite nicely. I had overheard the librarians gossiping about her one afternoon during recess. They claimed she had completely lost it. She was once a well-kept military wife and had turned into somewhat of a crazy divorcee. Nevertheless she was my favorite teacher, not only because she was a self-proclaimed mad woman but because she was the only person who ever seemed to show any interest in me. I admired her spunk and ability to be blunt.
We had to write a newspaper article about a particular event in relation to the assigned reading –The Outsiders. It was the first book that I felt a connection to, the desperation of wanting something more then you were expected to have seemed to be the feeling I had always felt simply put into words. In the paper I wrote about how the taste of rebellion excites people causing an escape from the reality of which the boundaries of society seem to trap one from experiencing.
Later that week, she returned our corrected papers. On the top of my paper she wrote, “I hope you think about becoming a writer.” It sounds stupid but I refer to this as the moment when everything clicked and I became aware of my passion. She called me to her desk later that day while the rest of the class left for recess. Her cheeks were noticeably red and became even brighter as she acclaimed my paper. It’s weird when you aren’t used to having any recognition whatsoever and then all of a sudden, you’re the center of attention.
My parents had divorced when I was very young, leaving my dad very much absent from my life. He showed very little interest in me, focusing his complete attention on his multiple girlfriends. My mom was rightfully focused on my younger brother who suffers from Epilepsy, her absence gave me more independence since I spent a considerable amount of my time alone. This was probably the most confusing time in my life so far, going through all these changes without my parents’ wanting any part in it. I poured myself into books, read series after series, searching for a way out. One of the most unique things about writing is that it holds a connection between people.
Ms. Hayes encouraged me to enter an essay contest. That year I had won five essay contests and accumulated over five hundred dollars. I seriously thought I was going to be a guest on Oprah. Over time you meet people who leave an impression on your life. It’s kind of funny to look back now and see how much one person can really make a difference. How just one single ounce of recognition could make you feel like you’re actually going to be something. Someone once told me that within the most difficult times in life lies the discovery of the best in a person, makes them understand things they didn’t necessarily comprehend beforehand, lead them to do things they never thought of trying and in my case lead to the realization of what I believe I am meant to do.
Passion compels you to break the chains of order and escape reality to a place where feeling outweighs the boundaries of reason. I feel I can reach limits by pouring my soul into words. What draws me to writing is that it embodies strength in the courage of exposing yourself and becoming vulnerable to the readers. Through your passion you find apart of yourself.

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