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Reflections

When I grow up

“She’s a writer,” my friend commented to her younger 11-year-old brother. This boy had just finished sharing with me a synopsis of the children’s book series he was creating. At the realization that he was speaking to a fellow literary person, he began firing away questions. There I was, passing along wisdom… I’m officially old. It suddenly hit me that in the last few weeks I had been referred to as “a writer” by several different people… and every single time it had made me smile.

I was always quite envious of those individuals who exuded what they were passionate about. You can usually tell apart an artist, an athlete, a business person, a dancer, etc. They’re the kinds of folks who look as though they’ve got themselves figured out. They know what they love, they love what they do. I didn’t have that… one thing that defined me; at least I didn’t think so. I dabbled in numerous activities – singing, dancing, writing, piano-playing, interviewing, editing, theatre, etc. I hoped that because everything I enjoyed fell under the “entertainment” category, that I could call myself “well-rounded” as opposed to a complete mess. However, deep down I knew I was missing my “true calling” and it bothered me.

It’s a funny thing when people have you figured out long before you’ve figured out yourself. In grade 5, my teacher asked us to write and illustrate a book no longer than 6 pages… 12 pages later, Mr. Isabella chuckled, “It just kept going”. In elementary, we were required to write some big test; as it turned out, I was the opposite of everyone else in my class and scored the highest in English as opposed to Math. In my early teen years, I remember putting together a book of songs I had written….one about Paris (my obsession at the time), one about blue birds (don’t know why) and the rest I can’t remember. At the age of 15, I had my first monumental crush on a boy and wrote a song about it (which I was fortunate enough to professionally record last year). In my final year of high-school, I took a Writer’s Craft class where I wrote a children’s story. Due to my tardiness, I had been black-listed by this particular teacher; however, that didn’t stop her from muttering under her breath, “I can see this being a published children’s book”. Since high-school, I’ve practiced the art of “free-writing” (writing whatever one is thinking at that moment without worrying about how cohesive or coherent it is) in my little green book… it’s my go-to when I feel inspired, angry, sad, happy and so on. Surprisingly, some of my best work was created that way. The content of those pages houses the inner workings of my brain. Jotted down on those lined pages you’ll also find lyrics, summaries of screenplays and script excerpts. I studied journalism in university and had an article published in Excalibur, the official campus newspaper. I’ve spent the last few years recording songs I’ve written. Now, I’m Little Miss Spanglish.

I HONESTLY DIDN’T SEE IT! Up until last month, I didn’t recognize my deep passion for writing… perhaps because growing up it always had to be done on someone else’s terms. My teachers wanted stories of a certain length with a specific theme, my profs wanted hundred-page essays… boring. Blogging has allowed me to spew my creativity onto a screen in whichever way I please… it’s a very healing thing. Now I feel as though I can trickle down and properly piece myself together in all the other aspects of who I am as a person. For example, I know I like my tea black, I love how socks feel on my feet, confrontation makes me uncomfortable, I love to jog, I feel the happiest when I achieve a personal goal, I hate the after-taste of asparagus… I can focus on the little things that make me who I am because I now found the top of my pyramid. Writing is more than just a passion, it’s a purpose. Now I have one main definition, as opposed to several. People spend years trying to “find themselves”… like Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love. Some think that by going away to some exotic destination they might figure it out… well yeah, you might! Everyone discovers their passions differently; some people know it from the age of two and others need to be ripped out of their comfort zones/never-ending routines to stumble upon it.

People change, passions change… but for now, I am a writer.

-LMS

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About Little Miss Spanglish

Bright-eyed dreamer, set in her ways... enjoys working-out to slow jams. Hates being called by her full name by people close to her. Has never had a pet, yet has names picked out for her future fish, cat and Teacup pig (name of future dog still in the works). Loves receiving handwritten letters in the mail (long, handwritten messages in thoughtfully picked out cards also result in a smile). Will stare in disdain at her plate if it is inhabited by: brown rice, asparagus or beets (coming around on the beets). Finds skipping-down-a-sidewalk to be a lost art in adults... refuses to let that happen to her.

Discussion

One thought on “When I grow up

  1. Oh, man, you make me miss journaling 😦 Did you have Campisi for Writer’s Craft as well? I think I’m the opposite of you, though. I love to write personal essays, descriptive pieces focusing on any and all of the senses, opinionated pieces, etc., although fiction was never my strong suit. It was pretty awful, actually. I usually got 9s or 10s on assignments in that class, but I got 7s and 8s on the short stories and myths, and all that creative stuff, haha. On the other hand, I KNOW my calling is music, and it frequently breaks my heart that I don’t have the natural skill or talent to be an adept musician at this stage in my life, never mind that performing actually makes me hardcore panic, and that I don’t have the knowledge of theory to transcribe all of the bits and pieces of music floating around in my head. Every time someone lectures me for smoking, I want to cry because I know my singing will never be what it used to until I quit. I’m actually afraid to really motivate myself and settle down and devote the endless work to it, because everything I’ve ever found enjoyable has turned to shit in my mind when it became work, and I don’t *want* to lose my love of music.

    Posted by Liz Vona | January 3, 2012, 4:18 am

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