A Literacy Narrative (Soph's)
Start writing a post

A Literacy Narrative (Soph's)

I disappeared into books.

A Literacy Narrative (Soph's)

My first memory of reading is laying on my mom's thin white quilt, my face covered in hot tears, desperately trying to sound out the words in a children's book about different types of weather. I remember being completely confident in that moment that I would never, ever, learn how to read, and that all the other five year old's would quickly surpass me, and that I would remain the only person on the planet without the skills for sounding out words. Of course, now I'm in my own bedroom, struggling through a one paragraph analysis of the first two chapters of Ulysses for my 20th Century Literature class. Because I am of course, an English major, and also a Psychology major, but if there was one thing I was ever really sure about in high school it was that I was destined to spend my college years reading and writing as much as possible.

My kindergarten teacher informed my mom that I probably had some type of learning disability, and that I would need extra help. Miss Goldberg. I did not like her very much. Her classroom was home to some of my most paralyzing moments of social anxiety during my kindergarten days. My mother did not agree with Miss Goldberg and we switched schools. My new teacher was Pam and in her class we cooked and baked and built barbie doll houses from cardboard. Also, I learned how to read. I remember the plastic-y white and pink leveled books that eventually made something click in my brain. I don't remember the moment where it all made sense, it was probably pretty inconsequential in the scheme of things.

Around third or fourth grade I become obsessed with Harry Potter. I remember opening the first book in the library one day after school and literally not being able to take my eyes away from the pages. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the book that made me love to read. After that I wasn't seen often without a book in my hand. I brought them to playdates, presumably to avoid socializing because that's what I would like to do now sometimes. My best friend Matthew accused me of skipping pages because I read so fast. My favorite spot was always the reading area, with the comfy bean bag chairs to disappear into and the shelves of books to enclose me.

I plowed my way through books. I disappeared into books. I honestly didn't have many close friends until 6th grade, probably because of books. In high school I felt like I was frozen. I didn't read enough. I didn't learn enough. I felt like I was waiting for something interesting to happen to me and I waited four years. My AP writing and English classes were the only two classes where I ever felt slightly stimulated. And then, in college, I could finally breathe again. Suddenly I had classes dedicated to discussing books, classes dedicated to discussing people, and life. I felt like I had stepped into some alternate reality where there were actually things that interested me. In college there is nothing weird or wrong about loving your major. When you say you love your major, people are jealous.

Before I could read my parents told me stories. I would lay in my Dad's bed before bedtime with my younger sister and he would tell us a Crystal Story. My sister and I were the protagonists in each Crystal Story, powerful princesses with beautiful horses and terrifying missions to accomplish to save our kingdom. These stories, I think, translated unconsciously into our daily play. We ruled over our numerous stuffed animals as the Queens of Stuffed Animal Land. Our dolls were our daughters, and the heirs to the throne. Each animal, without fail, had a name, a story, a family and some sort of drama, and the lives we created for our many fluffy friends were as intricate and complicated as the lives of real people. I recorded our time spent playing, and plotted to one day turn my countless journal entries into an actual book. We filmed tv shows for the animals and created yearly traditions. I began a collection of ceramic cats that formed another aspect of the kingdom's robust community.

At school my friend Karena and I invented a long standing game called Dusk and Dawn in which we were wolves with supernatural and mystical powers that allowed us to travel through time and space. As you can imagine, there is quite a lot of adventuring two wolves like that can do. Dusk and Dawn was also meant to be a book one day. I have stacks of papers and journals that were meant for publishing eventually.

My mom did not make up stories, but she read to me. Before I could form my own voice in my head, and make sense of the hundreds of tiny printed letters on pages, my mom's voice was the primary way I received stories. We worked our way through chapter books, and she did different voices and accents for each character, so I'd always know who was speaking.

Alongside my love of stories and reading came a deep rooted desire to create my own. My entire childhood is outlined in my mind by hours spent scribbling into packets of printer paper stapled together, hundreds of little books that I distributed to my family and friends. I wrote about being a wizard, because I was indeed convinced that I might be a wizard. I wrote about my animals and about the billions of worlds swirling around my head. I wrote about shy girls who got catapulted into wild expeditions that would force them out of their comfort zone. For a year in 5th grade I chronicled my own life in journals, filling about ten in the process. I wrote an entry every day.

My love of fanfiction began when I was gifted an iPad at age eleven. I spent the majority of my free time pouring over the stories that anonymous people had written and uploaded online. I started a very strict writing schedule for myself. Each week I would write twenty pages chapters for my saga based on the Warrior cats series, my main character inspired by my very own black and white cat, Madison. I participated in online forums and got involved in communities for people who all loved the same books and fanfictions that I did. For a long time, fanfiction was a little bubble where I could put myself out into the world without fear of judgement. People would review my stories and to this day I wonder if they ever suspected they were leaving reviews on the writing of an eleven year old girl. I look back on my old writing from time to time and am genuinely impressed with the content produced by my younger self.

I think that time in my life in which I spent almost every minute of the day furiously chronicling every idea that passed through my mind was crucial to me figuring out who I was at that age. I didn't relate to most of my peers, a struggle I still find that I have at times. Within the confines of my world of writing I was able to develop myself, interact with myself and with others like me, and I shaped a huge part of myself that still exists today. I lost a lot of my dedication to writing during my highschool years, which I refer to as the "fog years" in my own head. But college has opened me up, and I've been desperately trying to reclaim even a fraction of the furious creativity of my younger self. I write now, less frequently, but I write. I find I have less capacity to stick to a story but boundless amounts of ideas bouncing around my head. When I don't know what to write, I write about me. That seems like the most complicated part of my life and maybe I can figure myself out through writing again. Who knows. But now I am here, light years away from the illiterate, shy child who cried about weather books in her mother's bed. And still I feel just as confused, and the pain in my chest about the unknowable mysteries of life is just as sharp and pressing. I think I have strayed too far from that girl, who found herself in a storyland, and I hope to adventure to a place where I can understand who she has become.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments