Piles. There are piles and piles of paper that build up my confidence, filled with words from my heart. Draining the toxic stress and frustration, the anger, fear, love and buried feelings from inside. School, two jobs, babysitting, SAT’s and now you throw college in the mix and I’m exhausted. I balance a schedule carefully, try my hardest not to tip it over. My saving grace at the end of the day is letting the tip of my pen fly across the paper. Edgar Allen Poe, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath- all the greats I aspire to be.
Poetry is my catharsis. It is the stem of not only a passion but of my confidence. My writing has always been more than just words. Poetry provides me with an outlet to convey values, opinions, interests and feelings. I write free verse. Carefully stringing words together until I unlock the perfect combination, a sentence forms displaying the point I want to make. Poetry has enabled me to build up confidence in myself in so many ways. I feel it’s helped me learn to communicate better. Because of my writing, I believe in myself. For example, no one was allowed to hear or read my poetry. Not even my parents.
But I remember what planted that seed of confidence. The day I actually followed through with it. I clicked submit and that was that. Weeks later Weiner Publisher mailed me a letter, the seed. I made it! A world wide contest and I made it through to the semifinals. But that wasn’t all. I read on only to learn that I would be put into their anthology! The anthology is going to be sold in Barnes and Noble’s everywhere and on Amazon.com, and my writing is in it! I was on top of the world, giggling like a little kid after a night of trick or treating. As of today, I’m waiting to hear if I, hopefully, won first, second, or third place. (Fingers crossed!). However, it was enough to make me see, maybe I have a talent. Maybe it’s not ‘nothing’ after all. Just knowing I made it that far built up my confidence. I started to write more, share more and be more comfortable in doing so. That seed was watered with the blatant admiration and awe of family and friends who never knew I could write so well.
Flash forward and I’m in the auditorium at school. I’ve been here for three periods throughout the day. It’s my last chance. Poetry day, when anyone and everyone who wants to gets the chance to shine, if they want to. I hear my name. My turn. A nervous tick courses through me, the butterflies in my stomach have grown legs and they are starting to kick. Now or never. I’m stunned by the applause I receive just for standing and then the words start flowing. The support from the crowd was palpable. I felt the seed start to bloom. The comfort of their eagerness to hear my thoughts was more incentive to go for it. The urge to flee vanished and I slammed my first poem. The bell rang before I finished but everyone sat quiet and still until I recited the rest. After, they clapped and I felt the sun warm the budding flower, my confidence was building up.
I feel that poetry has taught me the importance of so many things, but mostly I’ve learned the importance confidence and communication. Poetry has taught me that building up confidence in yourself can open so many doors; you just have to take the first step. Because of poetry I believe in myself and that’s pretty great. That enables me to take on more challenges than ever, and I can’t wait to see what obstacles are waiting for me to overcome. At the end of the day I’m still building up confidence, but I’ve come a long way and intend to go a long ways more.