I was drawn to words at a fantastically youthful age. The moment I was able to pronounce a term, my mouth felt fed and my mind expanded. At age six I was given a dictionary by my grandfather and I would skim through the Golden soft pages, attempting to put words together to form pulchritudinous sentences that the offspring around me were not able to develop. I found the fervor for my own language while reading that book and my desire to enlarge my vocabulary grew immensely over time. My grandfather was a writer and a poet, and the only man in my family who ever tried to encourage my talent. He found my stacks of journals completely filled, saw every page crammed with words from the back to the front, and read my very first poem. He read of how I was afraid to share my natural gift and he suitably realized that I would also write because I could not speak the words.
â–º Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
It was a hardship growing up in a male dominated family where machismo seemed to leak from every water pipe in my household. In my father’s eyes, it was “immoral” to have a woman in the family be creative in a talent other than sewing and in my mother’s eyes, it was incorrect to ever doubt a man who worked hard to support his family. I kept my disagreements detained on lined paper. My family and I were off in vacation at Acapulco, Mexico three years ago. It was time to put my black and blue ink pens and number two pencils down and give my voice volume. Exhilarated by my grandfather’s words of motivation and Acapulco‘s scenery, I stood afore my family, facing judgment straight in the eyes. I sought the encouragement from family members too closed minded to break wrong traditions they held tightly as together as their bodies held their brown complexioned skin. I searched for comfort by staring into my grandfather’s eyes right before I gave my poem audio.
With my voice first stuck between my mouth and my throat, I swallowed years of a silenced artist. I did not only read my poem that lukewarm day, I performed it giving it life. Out of breath, I finished with a grin unfamiliar even to me! The silence was my applause. I held tight the sense of belonging while sharing the stage with my spoken word poetry and I aim for the audience’s sense to feel, not just to hear. Through my grandfather’s influential word flow and his upbeat personality, I was able to experience, first hand, the feeling of hunger somewhere else other than in my stomach; in my mind. Rising from a household dipped in the waters of oppression was a fight for me, but because of the decision I took I learned that the feeling of accomplishment feels better after the struggle. My growth reveals my transformation into a freedom writer and now I love telling my story to those willing to listen, and writing creatively has become a natural tendency, and my abilities, yearnings, and curiosities will never be silenced again. Lovingly I believe my language is a treasury and I believe in teaching others what I deem poetry and its followers are capable of achieving. Thank you for taking the time to read my travel story.
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