Little Words, Big Ideas
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My first diary was blue with a Hello Kitty on the front. I’d carry it everywhere with a little yellow pencil, filling the blue pages with big letters and small ideas. Each year, as my thoughts and observations grew, so did my journal. Now my journals are 60-page documents on the computer with small font and big ideas.
Throughout my life, poems would wake me up in the middle of the night. They would float into my head during car rides or while waiting in line. I would scribble them on post-it notes, the margins of my homework, and even napkins. The quiet tapping of my fingers on the keyboard meant early Sunday morning has arrived. Writing was such an intrinsic part of my life that I never realized my interest was unique and my work could be worth sharing.
I performed my first slam poem called “No Talent” at a summer camp talent show last summer. In it, I tried to convey my restless frustration with both my slow results of my activism and my attempt to embody poetic sophistication and talent. My eyes were glued to the paper in my shaking hands as I nervously opened my heart to the audience. When I finished, a stunned three seconds of silence was broken by an explosive standing ovation. When I performed “Consent,” another poem of mine, in front of my ASB class, there was another storm of cheers, applause, hugs, and even tears. After my abuela died, I wrote “Pennies in Heaven” about her childhood dancing in the streets of San Salvador for coins. It made my mother cry.
Writing is the enchanting forest of which I’m the adventurous child. Through poetry I’ve explored and discovered my voice as a human on Earth. There is nothing like hearing “Elise, you inspire me so much” after sharing a poem. There is nothing like writing.