The journey that I have been on begins with a vague memory. It was my first day of high school as a small and naive freshman. I had always enjoyed reading and writing throughout my life, but never really had the opportunity to indulge in my talents as a writer before this particular inciting incident. When I received the schedule of my classes for the year, I noticed in the top left corner directly below my full name was a class titled Creative Writing. Initially I thought, how could there be an entire class dedicated to one's creativity and how can one be graded on such a subjective concept? This class, in time, led to my comprehensive and eternal appreciation for the art of literature.
Before high school, I had never really given a second thought to book bearing or composition. I would be assigned book reports as a child and I, living up to my lazy persona, would simply read the first and last page of the book and summarize accordingly. I was never aware of what books did for a person or the excitement reading necessitated. I would mindlessly watch television and movies and neglect the stack of disregarded dust collectors, formally known as books, in my closet.
My mother tried to persuade me to be fond of reading as a child. She purchased the first Harry Potter book for me when I was around 12 years old and made a deal with me that I will never forget. If I read the whole book, she would take me to see the magical movie that had come out that month. I read the first few chapters, but, sooner or later, my undiagnosed ADD kicked in and just like that, I had given up on my assignment. The only problem was, I really wanted to see this movie that all of my friends had seen already. I then went to my best friend at the time (which was my bulky desktop computer) and searched for the synopsis of the book online. I studied the outline and recited it to my mother down pat which led to our family outing to the movies that weekend.
When I finally had my first day of classes in ninth grade, we had our creative writing class. That is when everything had changed for me. I was eager to see what the class was all about as a young and potentially creative teenager. Mr. Sheridan, the teacher of the class, stood still and silent in front of the classroom filled with judgmental adolescents. We all looked at each other with uncertainty; we had no idea what was transpiring. He then, without hesitation, grabbed the chair from behind his desk and shoved it loudly and forcefully against the wall of the classroom and exclaimed, "Write!"
Some students just sat at their desks cracking giggles and smirks, some sat still, stultified, and others (including myself) began to formulate words and sentences into our clean and crisp new notebooks. It was creativity at it's finest. In what had seemed like five minutes, I induced cramps in my wrist writing what I had believed to be the most unique piece I had ever written. When the class bell rang indicating it was over, we handed in our journals to be reviewed. For the first time in my life, I didn't care about the grade I would be receiving; I knew that what I had just done was good and I didn't need anyone to confirm that for me. That year, with the significant direction from extraordinary teachers that I will never forget, I started my pursuit to literary greatness.
Without the knowledge that I have obtained over the years through literature such as great novels, classic plays, and modern stories, I would not be the person that sits before this computer today. I would not be as permissive and my understanding of the world around me would be deemed inadequate. the benefits that I have acquired throughout my life attributable to reading and writing are innumerable.
I am so thankful to those who influenced this journey for me because without it, life would seem bleak. I know things haven't even fully commenced yet for me, there is still so much ahead to experience.