This I Believe

Rochelle - Seldovia, Alaska
Entered on July 12, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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My whole life I have thought of myself as a girl of many words. Not those short describing works like “hot”, “red”, or “bright” but words like “searing”, “scarlet”, and “dazzling”. I always had to use the big ones, confusing words so people would wonder what I was talking about. I always wanted them to question and to think, and maybe also to marvel and my dictionary sized vocabulary. I would even used words that I didn’t understand just to feel important.

I grew up in the back country of Alaska, a little place called Little Tutka Bay, somewhere that wouldn’t be on your everyday map. It was just my mom, dad, and I in a small houseboat barely big enough for all of us. Just as anyone would expect I was home schooled. It was fun for me and not always for my parents. I remember there were days when I would drive them insane to the point of nearly giving up on me, I’m pretty glad they didn’t.

I was truly such a quick learner. At age four and even before that I could read, and soon had read every book in the house that I could get my hands on. With everyone I read I soaked up new words that I put to everyday use. Television finally entering my household didn’t help either every word that came from that T.V. set I mimicked completely. Several bars of soap later I learned there are words you shouldn’t use.

I guess the big hit for my large words came in the form of a writers contest. That was by age ten when I was in third grade. By then we had moved to a bit bigger town to fit a bit bigger family. I had been writing a lot at the time, pumping out short stories left and right and finally my first ever poem. When I entered the writing contest I remember thinking that there was no way I would place, I was just some little kid with big dreams of being a writer. It seemed to take forever for the results to come back. I think I almost forgot I even entered. Then one day my mom picked up the paper and there it was…I had one first place and been published in the paper. I was shocked at that age; it was such a big deal to me. That made up my mind right then, I would be a writer and no one could stop me.

I am still holding on to the dream even though I am not fully grown up yet. I am avid writer and since that first contest I have gone on to place in it six years in row. I believe that everyone has one written voice that they should always shout out loud and to never think that there is a wrong word. In the end I truly believe in the power of your words, big and small.