Today is my 25th birthday, and it's incredible how much writing has affected my life.
Today, I find pride in knowing when people ask what I do for work, I can answer, "I'm a writer," but how did I get here?
When I was a kid, I remember being obsessed with Sesame Street. I used to love the part where Elmo or some other muppet would tell us the letter of the day. My mom used to let my siblings and I watch The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland on DVD. I don't remember much about it now, but there were songs that we would all sing along to.
In second grade, I remember learning about homophones and rhymes. My teacher used to make us cut out little books from paper. I specifically remember one called Pat The Rat. This is when I fell in love with reading. I read every book in our class library multiple times, and when my teacher finally noticed, she gave me a book at a higher reading level about a talking dog. She made me write down all the words I didn't know. I remember the word neighbor was hard; the eigh was very confusing.
Eventually, English became my favorite class. I remember picture prompts where I would have to make up a story about it. It was my favorite assignment because it wasn't another essay about why something is good or bad, but my imagination could run wild writing anything from a picnic at the park to a blue time-traveling dog searching the world to find his long-lost friend.
In fourth grade, I correctly pronounced, unfortunately, on my first try. Around this time is when I remember spending more time watching tv with my dad. We would watch movies and WWE and tons of TV shows. We would have these family movie nights where my siblings and I would pile onto my parent's queen size bed and watch movies together until we all fell asleep.
Around this time, I fell in love with writing. In middle school, I was bullied pretty severely, and I remember being sad all the time. I learned to use my writing as a coping mechanism. I wrote poetry and diary entries and delayed argumentative responses to confrontations that were unimportant in retrospect. I just wanted to collect my thoughts.
I developed a sense of storytelling while watching tv at home and reading countless books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or the Percy Jackson series. In my free time, I started writing a book about a group of kids who get sucked into a book. I was terrible at saving things, so I had to start over multiple times and never finished it.
I dreamed of becoming an author, and in college, I dreamed of becoming a screenwriter. I was beyond ecstatic when I was accepted into a journalism internship and filled with nerves when I went to my first movie premiere as press. It was the first time my dreams felt accomplishable, like I could make them a reality.
However, after graduation with COVID and work, that feeling began to fade. I was writing less and less, and it felt like my dreams were becoming more unattainable. That's when I started the blog so that I could combine all my passions into one. If I wanted to be a writer, I had to write. The constant practice gave me the idea for a poetry book I finished and hope to publish someday. Even still, balancing the work that pays the bills at my apartment with my passion is tricky. Sometimes, especially lately, I feel uninspired, and my brain feels void of words, but how lucky am I to have that as a problem? At 25, I'm so close, so at the cusp of greatness, that not only can I call myself a writer, but my brain needs a minute to catch up to my extraordinary talent.
Happy birthday to me!