“I’m not really qualified to do anything else. “-James Frey
“If writing were illegal, I’d be in prison. “-David Baldacci
“I write to shed dead skin and to explore why people do the things that we do to each other and to ourselves. “- Terry McMillan
I was an angry child. I was in martial arts and all kinds of extra -curricular activities. Those were supposed to be outlets. I was still angry. I was just angry, busy, and in some cases talented. The anger didn’t vanish. I later acquired interest in literature. I sought solace in myself. I would write. I would curl up on the pink rug in the front of the heater vent and write. I’d eat a whole row of saltine crackers, a red delicious apple and a yogurt with fruit on the bottom and I’d write. I’d only get up for two slices of raisin bread with butter. My poetry didn’t have to rhyme. It just had to bleed. It had to have a heartbeat. It had to have a conscience. It had to have bruises. It had to have the kind of scars that cocoa butter couldn’t rub away. Grotesque scars. It had to secrete the tears that I couldn’t.
When I was at Stonybrook University I had a phenomenal professor in one of my Africana Studies classes. Day one of the class there was an elephant in the room. Finally, one of the Italian football players said, “You’re lily white. How can you teach a black studies class?” That woman sat on his desk with a nonchalant poise that I have never seen. She said, “I am whatever I choose to be. I am Cherokee Indian and Italian. I have a history degree with a minor in Black studies. I have a lot to teach and you have a lot to learn. ”
I did a lot of writing in that class. I did a lot of soul navigation and destiny seeking. I am whatever I choose to be. I think about that a lot. I choose to be a writer. I know my writing has the potential to engage, enlighten , excite and empower. I know I’m not getting any younger but I know I’m just starting to delve into my true abilities. I plan to show strength, creativity, and resilience.
I write because it allows me to be whatever I choose to be.
What do you choose to be? Dare to satisfy yourself today! Tell the world you are fulfilling your destiny or you can Shutyamouthandcallmeugly.
By SMN 5:58 pm 4/29/14