This I Believe

Takiyah - Washington, District of Columbia
Entered on May 5, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity
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Manifest Destiny Isn’t Always a Smooth Ride

Five years ago I had to drop out of college after my sophomore year for financial reasons. I decided to take an administrative job at a law firm to pursue the career that I thought I wanted. Two years later I found myself in the same position- unhappy and unfulfilled. I felt as though I was the only one who realized my potential and I began to loose confidence in all the things I had been told of life’s possibilities. I moved out of my mother’s home and isolated myself from my friends and family.

One night my dear friend, John, showed up at my house with a recording of a man reciting poetry- it was positive and proactive and I had been inspired. That night I began to write feverishly. I had always considered myself a good technical writer, but this was much different. I had never written about myself beyond the surface, and though I had heard poetry before, this seemed to have a message that traveled beyond my ears, and it sparked my own personal revolution.

In the following months anger, sadness, rage and bitterness spilled onto the pages of my notebook. I transferred the pain and hurt onto paper and freed myself. I felt like I had a purpose outside of my very existence and I knew that I had found my calling- all I wanted to do was write.

A few months later I quit my job and decided to pursue writing with passion as my only experience. I took a risk that I never thought I could. Even though things were still a little rocky, I was happy again. It had been so long since I smiled the way that I used to, and people began to notice a change within me, and I felt it.

My life hadn’t been derailed; it had been redirected, and this unforeseen modification put me on the path to becoming a writer. All of the trials and stress that I had gone through had given me a story to tell and experiences to write about. This period in my life allowed me to reach depths within myself that I had never known. It helped me define my beliefs, identify my limitations and accept change as it occurred naturally. It taught me to believe that life is so much more than what is on the surface.

Because my life’s trials are intrinsic to the very person I am today, I couldn’t forget or leave them behind; I just turned the page and began writing a new chapter. Though I lament the life that I had once lived, the friends with whom I lost contact, and that relentless and persistent fervor that I approached life with, I’ve learned to live for personal fulfillment and not blind expectation. Writing about and writing through pain, hurt and anger helped me find my escape and my definition: I write and I am a writer.