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We all have that one thing in life. That one thing that makes us grow, the one thing that makes us feel attachment to the outside world. And I, by this definition, am no different.
My life hasn't always been so fortunate (whose life ever is?) but, unlike many others, I made it through. I made it through all the depression and anger that seemed to cover my hazy filled childhood memories whenever I decide to trapeze back through my whirling mind.
But, that's okay because ultimately, without that, I wouldn't be who I am.
One thing you should probably know about me, to make this more understandable, is that I used to be a fat kid. And I don't mean a little chunky with the remnants of baby fat or the extreme condition where my parents were deemed "unfit" for parenting. No, I managed never to come to that point. Yet, contrary to popular opinion, my lack of self confidence didn't manage to send me into a pit of fear that made me weak or painfully shy, causing me to hide my true self within myself. In fact, it made me the complete opposite. It made me annoyed and angry at all the "pretty people." How sick right? A little seven or eight year old girl already brainwashed into societies ways of thinking that skinny was beautiful. And that's what it came down too at the time, everyone else's opinions.
Now, when I was younger I attended a school where the teachers never changed year to year and you were expected to comply and listen. It was a school where, if your sister went there two years before you did they expected you to be a complete replica of her. A clone- a doppelganger.
Obviously, being the kid I was I didn't notice this right off the bat. However, as times began to pass, I noticed the little hints thrown my way. All the, you should be more like your sister's and why aren't you smart like your sister?'s and why don't you behave like your sister?'s
It was nearly unbearable, being the subject of subjective attention and the constant encouragement of being like my sister.
Can you imagine? Having that much pressure to be that perfect?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not under any deluded misconception that anyone is perfect but, when you’re a little kid and only hear one thing, it's hard to think any other way.
Even with all this forced conformant I was nothing like my sister, just like I am nothing like her now. She was the shy, cute, smart and, yes, skinny little girl- the little angel with a troll of a little sister- fat, bad mannered, low B student with a chip on her shoulder. At least, that’s what I thought then.
Eventually, I switched schools, something that had nothing to do with me (I was pretty good at keeping my stirring emotions in check with my family), and the prospect of a new life excited me. Finally, I would have a chance of starting over again, a chance of becoming my own person without any previous opinions of how I should be deluding anyone’s mind. However, even with this clean slate nothing really changed. Sure, I was smart enough to keep my problematic attitude from the teachers but I couldn't hide forever. Obviously all the kids in my class realized my anger problems and, within the first month, I was once again the "freak," the "outcast." At least, in my old school I had managed to make one friend to stick by me through my internal torment, but here I had no one. I was completely alone.
And this realization scared me, more than I ever imagined. Being excluded was the worse thing that could happen to nine year old me and I quickly latched myself onto a group of girls whom I absolutely detested, the feeling being mutual.
We stuck in this state of "frenemies" for a few years with no progress being made. I was still that angry and emotionally unstable little girl who couldn’t even trust her parents to believe her.
Although this may be a bit cliché middle school changed things.
Since the move I managed to submerge myself in books, desperately using the stories of wonderful places as a refuge to escape from my dismal reality, using it as a place where I could pretend for a while that my life was better. To this day I reach back in my mind and pull out these memories and feel a strong sense of joy. It was the first time I felt like I could make my own identity, be my own person.
But, as I said before, I hit middle school and it was no longer about who had the coolest electronic. No, now it was all about body image and relationships, something I was failing miserably at. Maybe it was some stroke of luck or an incredibly random burst of intuition, but my dad, usually always busy with work to be a huge influence in my life, suddenly saw fitness as something to be desired, with me as a guinea pig. So, while other girls where busy at home making out with their boyfriends or getting ready to hang out, I was at the gym, burning out my frustrations the only way I knew how, by taking it out on my body.
It took years to get where I wanted, it took years to make me happy to look in the mirror but I still realized, subconsciously, that something was missing.
Yes, I was finally becoming happy, pleased with myself and satisfied with my position life yet it wasn’t enough to fight of the inevitable apathy that filtered me back into my past, erasing the ghost of a girl that I was finally started to like and started to come to terms with.
Companionship didn’t interest me, exercise didn’t spark the same things it used too, even reading had lost it’s appeal.
Take a deep breath- I know, I was shocked too.
But what was missing? I had everything I wanted. Finally learning how to let go, learning that “skinny” wasn’t perfect, forgiving myself, even having the opportunity to make new friends, which I promptly ignored. I realized that I didn’t want the “dream” I always secretly hoped for. I knew I was never going to have that best friend whom I could share everything with; I learned my lesson growing up that independence suits me more than dependence, and I was fine with it. I liked being different and I liked making a difference. How could I though? I was barely out of adolescence but everything lost its appeal.
I wandered like this for a bit, unsatisfied with the drollness and monotonous inclination of the passing days. Of course, I still did sports as to keep my parents away from asking questions and I kept my grades up in school yet, that was it, everything had lost it’s appeal.
Then one day, a day that finally changed everything, I found myself in the same position I had been in for weeks, flitting through the internet on one of those writing websites. You know the ones, the ones where anyone can write anything and get feedback by the public. I had been poking through this specific website for a month or so but, this day, I just couldn't find anything to grab my interest. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of great stories but I just couldn't connect.
And then the thought hit me- why didn’t I just try writing my own story? It sounded simple enough, if I didn’t like what was out there why didn’t I create something that I did like?
So that's what I did.
I sat down and wrote, finally feeling alive for the first time in months. I could actually feel my heartbeat, my hurried breathing, my excitement and my whirring mind. It was better than any type of adrenaline rush, better than any type of high I've heard people getting. Even through the moments of doubt, even through all the writing blocks, my heart never lost its rapid beating, my body never stopped reacting to this new found joy.
This is it, I finally found it- I remember thinking, passion blazing through my fingers as they tap tap tapped on the keyboard. I had finally found something that meant something to me, I finally felt happy, complete, whole.
And I still do.
That's the amazing part, that I still do. I still get that excited feeling in my chest when I write, I still get chills when I reread and find that my little obsession is improving.
I had finally found my story.
Yes, after years of searching I finally found something that I want, something I love, and something I need. That’s right, I need it. I need this incredibly difficult thing to keep me sane and I need it to keep me found. It's something that helped me look back into my past with pure calculation, teaching me how to use every emotion, every scene, and every thought I ever had to my advantage. I use it and draw from it. I use it for my writing and my experience. This is why, everyday I wake up, every time I get feedback- whether it be negative or positive- I thank whatever almighty being that is listening for giving me this escape. I thank them for giving me these other worlds and other eyes.
Although I love it, truly, I never seriously considered taking writing seriously as a future profession until June 18, 2012.
I am not joking, I literally have that day scorched into my memory.
A few days before this day I submitted a work of mine to an online teen writing website. Unlike other websites I had submitted too in the past this website reviewed submitted works and decided whether they should publish it in a writing magazine. An actual magazine that would be published and be read by more than the internet. Now, I secretly harbored hopes of getting an email at least saying that my work was being considered but I brushed it off as impossible. I mean seriously, out of hundreds of teenage writers there was no way I could be considered. I only started writing, oh, say, a year ago while others have been writing for years, having already grown up with the aspiration of becoming a writer. By comparison I was a newbie to this world.
However, on June 18 an email came and literally shook my world. The contents explained that my work was submitted to the website and was being considered to publish. Ultimately, my work actually wasn't published but this small gesture had me in tears. After I read the email I couldn't help but cry from happiness, thanking god for the amazing opportunity and for a dream come true. I wasn't disappointed that my work wasn't chosen for publication- oh no, I was fortunate enough just to be considered- but, since then, writing isn’t just a hobby but a dream. It made and it makes me who I am.
I am a writer, and this is my story.