Becoming Wonderful; Leaving Wonderland
Telling stories of Alice’s greatadventures, I stand in my ninth grade english classroom, a desolate young girl whose only passion is to be a writer, yet here she stands performing someone else’s work. The desks sit in a broad semi-circle, taking much inspiration from a greek theatre and I stand at the center of it all, performing a Lewis Carroll poem. My voice shakes sending shivers down my spine as I preform.
The timid, tiny thirteen year old I was wanted nothing more than to show my class that I was a writer and somehow, I thought I could convey that by reading someone else’s work. Nonetheless, when my teacher asked who wanted to compete in the school wide poetry competition, I couldn’t even raise my hand. I just let my ambition slowly cease out.
That was one of the few opportunities I had to express my passion for writing and literature in my first two years of high school. However, it wasn’t the lack of opportunity that shook me, it was the fact that opportunities wouldn’t be handed to me, it was the first time I realized that if I wanted something to happen, I had to go for it. For a while, I let this tsunami of self-doubt forecast in my life, throwing me briefly off course. As I felt myself sinking further done a rabbit hole of loneliness and disparity. I slowly seemed to find myself crying an ocean of tears that I would soon drown in. I didn’t want the inevitable to be true. Thankfully, I quickly realized there are two ways out of this rabbit hole: 1. I stay, still, where I am, never expressing my writing, waiting for opportunity or 2. Express my writing, take each opportunity and run with it, get out of the rabbit hole with self-determination.
With this realization, I shifted my point of view, to option two. I wrote my pain into sonnets and stories that, in tenth grade,I was finally able to preform in front of my class with no shivers just utter confidence. I took the lessons I had learned in freshman and sophomore year, and thoroughly applied them throughout my junior year. I began submitting stories to competitions, I applied for newspaper, and tried out for slam poetry. I did things that would never have happened to me in the ninth grade because I didn’t wait for them to happen — I made them happen. Now, I can say: I am a writer. I am not just a girl too scared to perform someone else’s work or a girl whose work is filled by her pain; but a girl whose pain inspired her work, whose fear only pushes her farther out of her box. Out of that box and on to a stage, I stand, the theater seats filled to it’s brim with almost 400 hundred people, I approach the stage, the bright, white lights nearly blind me but I don’t let it deter me. Now I can’t see anyone’s face but even if I could I don’t think I would shake. Today, I can stand, in front of a microphone, in front of a much larger audience. Not performing someone else’s poem. I am preforming my own work.