Things I’ve Learned

Write ideas
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
  1. A good dog can complete your family; a bad dog can ruin your day.
  2. You can’t spend your life pleasing everyone.
  3. The world won’t end if you stand up for yourself.
  4. I am just fine as I am.
  5. Anxiety is a waste of time.
  6. Nothing is set in stone; everything changes.
  7. Pursue your dreams right now. There is never a perfect time to follow your passion.
  8. It’s all right to make a mistake; I don’t have to be perfect all the time.
  9. It’s all right to put my needs first.
  10. The most difficult tasks are easier if I break them down into manageable chunks.
  11. Watching a child grow up is like reading a good novel. There’s a lot of plot twists and turns, but you end up with an amazing story.
  12. Sometimes, you need to fail in order to succeed.
  13. Don’t worry what anyone thinks.
  14. The only way to be a writer is to write.
  15. Ideas are everywhere.

In the third grade, I discovered that the books I loved to read were written by actual people. I am not sure where I thought books and stories came from before I discovered this, but it was an important moment for me. I remember standing by Mrs. Hill, my third grade teacher, as she created a bulletin board. I asked her what the bulletin board was for and she told me we were going to publish our stories. She told me that all the books I read were written by people just like me. I was astounded. She also told me I was going to write and publish my very own book.

Image result for yellow legal padThe day she posted my book on the bulletin board was the first day I considered myself to be a writer. My first story was about a bird who had lost its family. I designed the cover for my book and made my book in the shape of a bird. After school, I went home and told my mom I wanted to be a writer. She immediately bought me a large yellow legal pad and some sharp new pencils, and I began writing.

Over the years, I have filled up spiral notebooks, binders, and bound journals with my writing. My writing has gotten me through tough times–when I was stuck in dead-end jobs with no way out, when I lost teaching jobs, when I was sad or depressed. At times, I have stopped writing, but no matter how long I stay away from writing, I always come back to it.

When I write, I can express ideas that I am sometimes afraid to say out loud. I can be me without the fear of judgment or criticism. I can tell stories, state my opinions, and explore new ideas. Writing makes me happy and inspires me to improve.

Whenever I think about giving up writing because I am discouraged or it feels too hard, I think back to Mrs. Hill and the day I became a writer, and I realize that writing isn’t just something I do. It’s a part of who I am.