Freedom through the pages
Finding a breakthrough in the form of writing. Looking up to other writers that have inspired me to no longer allow myself to drown in my own mindless thoughts.
2017 was the summer of my aunt deliberately speaking on how much I ate. She said being pretty wasn’t associated with gaining weight. Up until then, I was an overweight 11 year old who had no clue weight was such a vital concern. Entering middle school, the kids also made a clear emphasis on how my stomach wasn’t flat, nor my chest the right size for the boys to swoon over. I felt like an outcast in any social gathering; it was all focused on my body. The childhood I was meant to grow up in was filled with continuous self loathing. I could no longer bear to look at myself in the mirror, it was like there was a person behind me pointing out how much bigger the number on my pants were than others, the grim look of disgust was present with just one look.
Writing in the blank pages of my book was the only freedom I possessed. The repressed emotions finally being let out brought a genuine feeling. I could feel the long pages sink into a new form of acceptance. A smile appeared on my lips as picking up the pencil allowed me to overcome every problem and finding a solution became easier. The returning confidence endured new approaches I could take to better myself with no more self-pity, just the self reflection in my ongoing writing. It wasn’t about exercising or eating healthy. It was writing that brought the acceptance I needed.
Self writing guided a new fascination for different genres. It was not only the creativity that guided my passion, but giving myself a voice. Writing was a safe place for me; I found myself bound to it. It kept me secured and in my comfort zone, yet it was an opportunity to make a difference like Maya Angelou, who was a poet and an activist in the civil rights movement. Tyler Kingkade is a journalist who utilized his own experiences to advocate for the gap between men’s and women’s body image. Mary Oliver was a poet who voiced in her writing the interaction between the human and the natural world. All these writers held one thing in common, using their voice to overpower common wrongs. Helping people uncover loose ends with knowing they were not alone, people are advocating for them. I wanted that.
I saw how students in my school wrote for the newspaper and gave light to so many different things I had no clue about. I wanted that. I wanted that feeling for my audience. I wanted to show them everything they were missing. Expanding my writing beyond my own experiences was a challenge, but the passionate feeling took over every last nerve. I joined the school newspaper, and in the midst, I unlocked Journalism. The small aspects of life people walked over were so clear to me I had to write about it. The continuous words that flowed onto the page had a sense to every aspect of understanding the world around me, and the self accomplishment I felt. Entering Girls Write Now as an intern with a growing love of writing initiated journalism on a bigger spectrum. I’m able to work with professional writers to further my growth in writing; as well as with my academic activities that contribute to my passion.
Since the first moment I picked up that pencil, it remained in my hand, secretly guiding me into new places my writing could go to, and how much it could help. The taunting mirror I would occasionally pass no longer has any power over me. The pages I write are my new mirror with not just highlighting my physical appearance but all my growth beyond that. Writing helped me see my world more clearly. I know I can do the same for others.
This piece was developed when I was deciding on what to write my college essay on. I wanted a piece that would capture my struggles that allowed my growth to succeed and where I’m planning on going. I was able to obtained a much of help during the process with my mentor by my side, guiding me to use whichever tool that could improve my writing. Girls write now helped my piece be pushed to the end. There final critiques assured me of my essay and fixed a few things before I submitted it.
Stephanie Jaramillo is a senior in high school who is president of the science honor society and senior class president. She adores cats and loves anything related to animals. She desires to become a journalist and advocate her voice anyway she can.