On Tuesday, I shared a piece of who I am with you through a poem that I never thought I could write.
I never thought I would so openly talk about what my minority definition means to me— as a student, as a woman, as another human being living the way we do… When I showed up on this campus eighteen months ago, I didn’t quite picture myself writing something like that, let alone allowing it to be shared on a stage or on my own blog.
I only wrote it, I only shared it, because I needed to.
After graduating high school, my transition to college was filled with a lot of turmoil within both this school and myself. I wasn’t sure how I fit into this new school I was supposed to be calling home when it only felt like a temporary place. I’d like to say that in my second year here, it all makes sense now and I understand where I belong.
But I don’t understand, you knew I was going to say that didn’t you?
If I’m being honest, I wouldn’t have the majority of my writing in the past year and a half if I had found anything I thought I was looking for here.
The one thing I seem to have found, what I wasn’t even looking for, was my voice.
I’m starting to think maybe that’s the home I should have been seeking out in the first place. The idea that this is the point— not quite finding a home, or half of what I thought I wanted or needed.
Each time I thought I had found what I was looking for, I’d take a step back with the prize in my hands only to look down and be… Disappointed. My expectations got in the way, what I thought it was supposed to be.
I got in my own way.
Trying to make this place into everything I wanted it to be somehow managed to make it feel like the opposite. There are some people who can’t find what they’re looking for, so instead they make the best out of what they’ve got or they go out there and make it for themselves. But me?
I’m more of a follower. At least I thought I was.
With that piece, with my life and my decisions here… My hands start writing and my mind decides to follow.
I’ve been writing for a long time now, finding the slightest feeling of escape through whatever I manage to put down on paper. But more than the classes or the people or the area, I’ve learned something bigger more than what I thought I was coming here for.
I’m learning to make a home out of myself. To finally follow my own instincts without second guessing or expecting anything, but simply hoping for the best.
Do you ever look in the mirror and dislike the way your hair curls in a certain direction or one eye opens a little bit more than the other? Sometimes I’ll write something (or paint something), know it is absolutely awful, and have to find a way to be okay with that. To accept whatever comes out of what I can do in the moment. To make a home out of the flaws.
Because in a way, that’s what life is the things don’t always go as planned. That’s what my writing is when I put pen to paper— you make do with what you have, what you feel you need to do, and take it all as it comes. You adjust.
I know it sounds trite but coming from someone who never quite saw class as optional when you need a day off or truly understood how to be okay my own truths, it takes a lot to make a home out of the temporary places and our flaws.
It takes a lot to be honest with ourselves and sometimes, each other. That doesn’t mean we can’t. It just means we have to be okay with it first.