I was good at something,
I was creative starting from a very young age. I was lucky to have a parent who encouraged that creativity and imagination. Besides all of the psychological and social benefits of being creative, it made me a happy kid. Give me some glue, some paper and leave me alone I would make something. Mom use to give us the old sears catalog to make paper dolls from. While my sisters where cutting out people that they liked, I was designing a house and then finding the right people to fit my house. When I was done, I was done. I had no desire to play house with my sisters. I just wanted to decorate.
Flash forward and we had moved to California. Having to go to a new school in the middle of the school year with different rules, kids and the fact that I talked with a very heavy Hawai’ian accent set me apart from the others. I guess if I had had dark hair and brown skin I would have been exotic, but auburn hair, pale skin, freckled-faced girl not so much.
My mom in a moment of understanding, or to get rid of us kids for a few hours during the summer, put me into summer camp when school break rolled around. I was excited about summer camp. I t was a great place. I was able to learn leatherworking. It was so hard to get those letters lined up correctly. Mine was always at an angle.
I learned pottery. That was okay even if my pretty pot was lopsided. There was something about putting your hands into the cold, unforgiving clay and kneading it until it was warm, pliable, ready to be shaped. There was a symmetry and a purpose to it that I found soothing.
The next year, I was in middle school. I was still the outsider, but I was again excited. I had a counselor who help me enroll into poetry class, creative writing class and drawing class. So up my alley. I excelled in both the poetry and creative writing class. My writings were published in the school paper quite often. I was proud. I was also featured in the newspaper. Not for my writing. I was featured because I was so advanced in reading and English, I was able to be a tutor for other kids who were behind.
My tutoring lead to met and help many kids, but the one that was special to me was an actor. He had played in commercials, but me being 11ish was most impressed that he was the voice of Marcy in the Peanuts TV specials. Anyway I helped him get up to speed and he improved his reading so much, his mom got me mentioned in a feature in the paper. The article was about him but I was over the moon that I was mentioned. I still have that paper.
The experiences I had in middle school harbored a deep love of writing and a confidence that I was good at something, that people liked my stories. It was exactly what I needed. I have put off my writing for a very long time. I get to the point where I feel no one likes it. Of course, my self-esteem can be all wrapped up in my writing, so ergo, you don’t like me either. Writing is me. So writing again, joining writers clubs, updating the blog, and getting back to it feels like I was able to sew a limb back on. Even if you don’t like it.