Ever since I was a child, I loved reading. I had always been on the quiet side, so books had become an escape for me. I truly felt connected to the characters and felt like they were my friends. Every week I would have second-hand books that I ordered from Amazon arriving at my house.
My first love was poetry. I remember my aunt had bought me a small notebook with flowers on it. It had this bubble wrap texture that at the time I thought was so cool. In that notebook, I began to write poetry. Most of the poems revolved around vacations, my dogs, or my brothers. I was only six or seven and could not write anything too complex yet. Throughout grammar school I continued to write, but I was always very critical on myself. When middle school approached, I stopped writing poetry. I was too critical on myself and uninspired. Although, I continued to read copious amounts of books, anything I could get my hands on.
Freshman year of high school, I bought a black, soft cover journal one day while shopping with my aunt. Initially, I didn’t know what I was going to use it for, but I thought it was pretty so I went for it. One night when I was really upset I took out the journal and just began writing whatever came to my mind. I realized how much better I felt after putting my feelings into words on paper. I still did not like what I wrote very much so I never showed anyone. Throughout high school this became a tradition. Teachers picked up on that I was good at writing based on papers or required creative assignments and suggested I take some higher level courses. I ended up doing this. By the end of high school I had taken around seven English classes. To this day I still have and still write in the same notebook. Getting rid of it has never crossed my mind. Through this free writing, I was able to gain a lot of confidence in my work. As a child, I would have never imagined I’d be writing for the Odyssey or any kind of public forum. I’m still reserved with showing people my poetry, but when I do, I can do it comfortably. Writing has been therapeutic for me, it is a different form of “having a voice” that I love. Whether I have a career in writing or not does not matter to me, because I will always know it’s there for me when I need it.