It wasn't always like this. Prior to this year, you made me feel vulnerable. You forced me to label myself with words of a low demeanor. You made me feel worthless. However, now, you have transformed me.
The art of writing always hid within me. Lodged within the aspects of my body that I viewed as flaws, it would reside. The big, bad, and scary monster would occasionally make an appearance. Although, always formally introducing itself every first day of my English courses. This process continued every year on the dot. With this anniversary, came the numb and weakening echo throughout my being. I was not good enough. Out of everything that I had mastered, this was just one of those things that would conquer me. It was stronger than I. I could not do it. I could not survive.
This lingering and isolating view carried with me to college. As a first-year, I was required to enroll in Paideia, a writing and reading intensive course. Every week, a new book would narrate its story inside our hearts and minds. Then following, words were forced unto paper about our interpretation - this was undoubtedly the greatest struggle for me. I have always been in my own little world. My mind is a novel of detail-orientated observations that can only be explained by actions rather than words. After all, words are not friends of mine. Logical abstracts of visualization are and I could never tie the words I saw in my head to the concrete appearance on paper. Therefore, my thoughts lay unspoken and enclosed in my conscious mind.
Because of the varying way in which my brain works, I felt lesser than the general population, than my peers. I truly believed that I was destined for failure. Before stepping into the Paideia classroom, I had accepted defeat. However, my professor did not allow me to not fight back. Every day, he fought the inner workings of my thought process and forced me to talk through the words inside my head. Ultimately, I was able to connect the quick inspired thoughts to the deeper and complex meanings that echoed from within. Overtime, I became more confident in myself and my creative side. I learned that the impossibilities that I had thought writing pertained were nothing other than analytical expressions waiting to be sorted.
Furthermore, I came to grasp that writing is a form of therapy. It reveals more about oneself than almost anything in closer comparison. Rather than taunting, it supports. It gives life to the ideas that are often invalidated by ourselves and society's perception. Writing simplifies the human connection and allows each us of an equal playing field. It’s a game where no one wins or loses, but develops.
This art has taught me more lessons about my life endeavors than I ever thought possible. Most importantly, it has brought balance into my life. Since I have started writing articles for the Odyssey, I have spent more time enjoying the nooks and crannies inside the complex world of Brooke than the past nineteen years of my life. It has forced me to accept my strengths and weaknesses, but not to accept that there are limitations. I have learned that even the most scary and nerve-racking facets of life often bring with them more reward than the challenges.
Writing, you may have caught me off guard and made me feel vulnerable, but I thank you. Without your persistent attempts to label me the lesser, I would not realize the strength that I possess. I would settle and we both know that’s not who I am.