From the beginning of elementary school, we were first taught how to write out letters and words in our own handwriting. Then, as we progressed, we learned how to form our first sentence: “The quick brown fox jumped over the log.” We learned to form sentences that lacked substance, and we were taught where words should go in order to form a cognitive string of words. Moving into middle and high school, we were taught to compose essays and full-length papers; we also learned to help correct and fix mistakes in other student’s papers. Most writing done by high schoolers are assignments that the student is less than enthusiastic about doing. Most high schoolers don’t enjoy the art of writing.
Few are gifted with the ability to move from learning to write essays about The Great Gatsby, and other educational topics, to being able to actually put their convoluted, and sometimes angsty, teenage feelings into words on paper. The craft of being able to take individual words, that are not synonyms of one another, putting them next to one another, and make sentences that make sense is magical. Through writing school papers and wanting to express my creativity, I have learned that my writing ability is not limited to doing research on a topic and then constructing informative paragraphs to show the teacher I learned something the state thinks I should know. Through writing in my own journal, I have learned that I have an unlimited mind, full of words and sentences that I can call mine, on a piece of paper covered in my own handwriting. I pride myself in being able to feel my nostalgic thoughts and put a pen to paper to expose my feelings in words. There are words that I sometimes have trouble saying out loud, but ask me to write them down for you and I can do it. I can do it. I am capable of using alliteration, similes, allusions, and countless other rhetorical devices that I have only learned how to use because I was forced to have a number of them in the papers assigned to me by English teachers.
I heal my thoughts through my writing. I believe that I can feel better by writing out what is always on my mind. If I can’t seem to get something off my mind, I grab my journal and a pen and pour my mind out over a piece of paper. I release all of my built up emotions and thoughts that haunt me through my day; I release them through words. Sometimes my writings are only for me, but sometimes I want to share them with others. I am so thankful for my gift of being a writer, and that I am confident enough to show others that I have found a way to express myself.
Sometimes the pieces I am most proud of come out of nowhere. I could be writing my designated weekly article for a grade and know that I just produced something great. Sometimes I am dignified by the piece I just wrote in my journal at 11:30pm, because I just had to get my thoughts out late at night. I could be sitting in math class and suddenly I think of something that I just have to write about, so I’ll write down the idea, maybe a sentence or two that I feel need to be included, then come back to it later. The inspiration for my writings come from anywhere and anything– and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am grateful for all of the education I have received to help me grow and develop the abilities I have today. My teachers all the way from kindergarten to 11th grade, where I am now. Without the fundamentals my first-grade teacher taught me, I wouldn’t be able to release my thoughts in the way I have come to love. The power of writing allows me to have an outlet of thoughts in an emotionally healthy way. Thank you, to everyone who encouraged me along the journey I took to find my voice.