Perhaps it was in high school that I learned this, the importance of my own voice. My English teacher had just returned our writing papers with that week’s assignments on poetry writing. He leaned over my desk as he placed the paper in front of me, an A+ glaring up at me, circled in red. He smiled. It wasn’t the grade that meant that much to me, I did pretty well in school most of the time. It was the comment that he wrote right next to them that even today, I still hold in my heart.
“You should keep writing.”
I had never written poetry before and I never believed I had much worth saying. Of course, I grew up a fan of the great poets and enjoyed their writing – but who was I to think I could ever do the same? I had grown up in a home where there wasn’t much emotional support. Self-expression of any means was not tolerated. So why should I believe in myself? And perhaps that is why those words meant the whole world to me.
“You should keep writing.”
And I wrote furiously that year and the year after. I started to become known across high school as “our author.” I think back on those days as some of the happiest days of my young adult life. For once, I felt that I had found something that gave me a voice. In a home where speaking up was forbidden, where things were just that – unfair, I could write all of my feelings into a poem or a story and I could tell it without a worry. I could fiercely be me – and then decide if I ever wanted to share it with someone else. I could scream, I could cry, I could object – and no one was going to tell me what to say. It was there that I learned to be unafraid.
See, writing – is a powerful thing. It gives voice to someone who at one point in time, did not have one. In some cases, it is the very thing that those people need. It allows the writer to discover themselves, and it gives birth to the very important idea: we do not have to be a copycat to succeed. And this is where our dreams come alive. See, it matters not whether I ever am published. It matters not whether banners fly across the sky in my name. It matters not if I am appreciated or loved by every single person that passes my way.
I write each and every day to free the voice that is within me.
I want to see how I see things, aching toward better understanding
I want to feel the depth of feelings most people do not know
I want to breathe in the taste of a summer sunset
And feel the joyous opening of a petal as it blooms
I want – so powerfully – to be me.
And I cannot find contentment – just being like everyone else.
I want to write more – delve into things I have never tried. I want to experience life in ways I have yet to try. I want to discover the wonders in my ordinary days and celebrate them joyously.
I cannot promise the journey will always be without sorrow, nor that my view will always be cheery – but this is me, trying to make sense of my days, of my life, of the world around me. To know sorrow – makes the happy times that much sweeter. To know disappointment – makes the moments when you finally succeed that much more triumphant. And to know one another in this vast world of ours, we sometimes need to delve into how other people feel and see.
There is no proper recipe for life – no way to fill your days only with happy thoughts unless we deny there is any sadness, and to me – that is not real. I am not afraid to feel. For me, I want to live no matter where that might take me. For life, if it is to be cherished – needs to cherished in all its moments. The good times, a time to rejoice and the difficult times, a time for growth.
And this is me – deathly afraid to be a copycat, and you will never find me willing to apologize for my inability.
(c) Sumyanna 2016
This was written and inspired by the thought-provoking Daily Post Prompt: copycat
Gorgeous photo courtesy of Morguefile (9janedoe9)
Other excellent posts for the prompt: