Everyone has heard small funny stories about them when they were younger. The one I’ve been told throughout my childhood and the one I’ve heard my mom repeat to her friends had a lot to do with literature. In fact, it had everything to do with it. She says that as soon as she knew she was pregnant, she would read her child a story every night. So from even before I was born, I heard about the cow jumping over the moon, an extremely hungry caterpillar, a very generous tree and where the wild things lived. Perhaps this is what has made me the avid reader and writer I am today, but either way, I don’t think I will ever be able to un-memorize those books.
I have always had a love for reading. Before I watched too much Netflix, I thought books were the only thing that could give you the feeling of being right on the edge of your seat, the thrill of a page turn. When I wasn’t playing soccer or basketball, I was reading. This lasted until about sixth grade. I remember seeing my brothers on their phones all the time while I read. I would tell my mom that I would never be like them, that I would always be reading a different book. Sadly, I discovered TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy and Pretty Little Liars and I read less and less. I became just like an average teenager. Seeing stories play out on a screen was so new for me, and I loved it. Now, as I continue to grow older, I am getting to the point where I see how destructive watching things on screens too much can be. Lots of people stop hanging out with friends and they just sit inside in front of their phone or TV. And this is NOT who I want to be. So I am attempting to become unaddicted from the devices that everyone else my age can’t go a week without. My replacement for the drama I used to watch on TV happens to be books. I love finding a book that I can’t put down. Something about the connection with characters and how the reader has control of when they reach the end gives reading an extra special edge. And I’m so happy I’m bringing it back into my life.
As for writing, I will never stop that. I can’t say when my love for poetry started, it just seems that it’s always been with me. In fifth grade, my class wrote haikus and I remember doing ten or fifteen every time we had the assignment to do one or two. I wanted more from writing so I talked to my teacher who told me about YWP. It was this site where you could find prompts for your writing. I was able to write and post it on a page for others to see. Turns out, my entire class started partaking in YWP after that. We had a page as a class and everyone had their own account. I remember during our writing classes, I would go on there and write until the time was up. I don’t remember what I wrote about at first. As a fifth grader, I don’t believe it could have been that meaningful and deep. But that was just the first half of the year. I loved getting comments from other students and giving feedback as well. Near the end of that year, my best friends mom passed away. I remember exactly when my mom told me. I was sitting on a couch with her and she had a very sad look seeping from her eyes. But the thing is, I didn’t cry. And I thought something was wrong with me. Instead of letting my feelings show through my eyes, I let them swim on the paper. I wrote for hours of my memories with her. I just didn’t stop. I now know that writing was my equivalent to crying uncontrollably. As just an 11-year-old, I had already known the feelings of a deep loss and I believe that this is what made me mature in my writing so quickly. From this point on, I realized that writing was something I needed. A way for me to express the complicated things I’m feeling that some people just wouldn’t understand. A way to spread knowledge, joy, sadness, and experiences. From then on, whenever I write I do it with a purpose. I think of why I’m doing it and I pour as much of myself into it as I can. Maybe that’s why all my teachers tell me my writing is so conversational. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. But others do. I guess to them, some writing just shouldn’t have any feeling in it. But there would be no purpose in writing if I couldn’t do that.
These skills are something that will always stick with me wherever I go. Reading and writing have really become a part of me and nothing will ever be able to take that away. I hope that I will be able to share this piece of myself with the whole world. I want to write something that saves someone. I want to learn something that sways my opinion on a topic. I want to read something that changes me for the better. And I know that I can do this, because what else would I want to do when I have the world at my fingertips?