Writing: How A Processing Tool Became Much More Vital to Having A Good Life

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If you have been reading my posts for a while: you know I was painfully shy growing up. I was not shy around my family, friends, or anyone not a stranger. My shyness came from being bullied in school. I thought if I made myself less visible by being quiet the bullies might not notice me as much. It did not work. Mama, my aunts, granny, and Kirk all knew how much I disliked the bullying. They encouraged me to express myself using my gifts and talents to process my feelings. I have big feelings. I am extremely sensitive.

 Because (almost everyone) on mama’s side of the family has musical talent, music was the earliest way I remember processing my feelings.  I have been singing since I could talk pretty much. Kirk built me a desk for his house so I could draw. My artistic ability does not extend to drawing or painting, however. I always loved making up stories as a child and playing make believe as well. Only children, often, are particularly good at entertaining themselves. I am no exception.

Mama loves books and words. If I had to say what her love language is that would be my answer. She read to me from an incredibly early age. Books were as important as music in my house.  In first grade I struggled with learning how to read. Mama panicked. Her extremely inquisitive child struggles with reading? She could not understand why because apparently my most frequent questions were why and what does that say.

My sweet teacher assured her I was on the cusp of learning and when I figured it out, I would excel.  She was right on both counts. Once I could read: the possibilities were endless. Bookstores are still one of my ideas of a great day particularly ones with coffee shops inside.  Mama bought diaries and journals and told me to write my feelings down. She often suggested them as gifts for me.

With my first computer at age 8, everything I was writing down I started typing instead. I wrote poems/songs/rap verses to deal with my feelings. My 6th grade English teacher entered one of my assignments in a school contest after I got a good grade. It went on to the county wide contest. I was thrilled. I placed in the county competition too.

The next year my English teacher called mama and told her I had a gift for writing. Coming from this teacher, it meant a lot. Her belief stuck with me. I (obviously) still remember. Never could I imagine all these years later part of my purpose and job including writing my story down for the whole world to read on this blog. She saw my gift for what it was… a gift from my Father. She saw my potential, as well, when I could not. Belief was the true gift she gave me. I hope if she reads this post, she feels my gratitude and is proud of her impact on my life and the lives of countless other students as well.

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