I once led a life of muted expression. It was due to a decision I made when I was a child due to the passing of a young man whose face I bore. For some reason or another, I believed my birth was the reason of my eldest brother’s passing; even at the age of four, I felt as if I had stolen his life. In order to maintain and expand the history of my brother, I took on his will and donned a mask. Instead of acting as an inhibitor for my identity, this mask was like an egg; wearing it allowed the identity that I wanted to throw away to safely grow. In this time, I was drawn to books. Since I was inherently a n introvert, I never spent too much of time among people; my face was always buried inside the pages of novels. Reading was a way of escape for me like most. It allowed me to only focus on the narrative and the foreign worlds around them.
I discovered poetry not to long after. The first poet I’ve ever read was Langston Hughes; I was intrigued by his lyrical wordplay and vivid and imaginative descriptions that ultimately made me try my hand at poetry. I wrote elementary musings daily, almost as much as I read. This habit followed me through primary school where I was soon elected to read my work by teachers fellow students. Juxtaposed with my responsibility to continue my brother’s path as an athlete, my writing continued. Writing made me happy. Though I wasn’t proud of it, it was a part of who I was; I thought it was selfish of me to write.
Time passed, my body and mind matured, but my identity was still in infancy. The morning after my graduation from high school, I woke up in tears. And these tears eroded the mask. Instead of going on, living as my brother, I decided to live as myself. Expression through writing was who I am.
Painful as it was, the event of my brother’s passing and the choice I made as a child placed me on the path I was born to trek upon. I entered college soon after with my heart dead set on majoring in poetry, however something in me told me to opt out of that and focus on creative writing. I had a fondness towards storytelling but I hadn’t any experience in writing traditional narratives. Short stories could’ve been the death of me to be honest; I honestly wasn’t any good but I kept trying. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in college that my technique and voice came in fruition thanks to my instructor and mentor Cynthium Johnson-Woodfolk. Soon after, I gained enough confidence to take up ghostwriting. This allowed me to increase my experience as writer in several avenues and I finally uncovered my full voice as a storyteller.
To share my story with my readers and friends, I never thought I’d do it at all. This story has much more to it and I’ll gladly share it as time goes on. With a little background knowledge of my humble beginnings as an writer and author, I hope to be more open to each of you in the future. My story and my journey along this path has only begun; stay by my side everyone and I’ll stay by yours.