My Why

I started writing to survive.

I was a little girl in 5th grade and I wrote a poem for an assignment. My teacher at the time, Mrs.Thomas, entered the poem in a contest. The poem was called Abigale.

Abigale was about a sad little girl. Abigale was caucasian. Abigale was probably in a hot air balloon. I have never seen a hot air balloon in my life but Abigale was surely about me. I was Abigale. Abigale was Shaun.

I have a big beautiful loving family. Yet, a large part of me often felt misunderstood. I lost a sibling at a young age and in my mind that event made me a part of an exclusive club no one wanted to be in. I read a lot. Words became my friends. In a way, they still are.

I wrote dark stories. I wrote about things people said were beautifully expressed but not popular. My sensibilities seemed to put me in a vulnerable space. I was exposed, skinless, boneless and edible. “They” said “No one wants to read about these feelings.” The more time that passes, I understand how untrue that is. Everyone is seeking approval in some sense but more importantly they want likeness. People want to be mirrored. Who’s the fairest of them all?

Feelings of angst, uncertainty, passion, hunger, and bewilderment don’t dissipate while you ignore them. You have to handle them carefully with clean fingertips and rub them all over yourself like a salve. You must allow your helplessness to be your healing.

I began writing because it made me feel like a grand design. I was impressed with the sustenance easily pouring from my own mind. I got a high when I read it to a peer and they replied, “Is this about me?” There I was, Adam’s rib, connecting with mankind. I was a part of a universe I once felt so far from. Trees were sprouting, soil was in my belly, rivers were flowing through my veins.

I can never stop.

I started writing to survive.

By :Shaun M Liriano


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