I Write For Me

I was eight when I got my first journal. The journal held the first short story I ever wrote, entitled “Bluebird”. I wrote the story after my father died that same year. It was a story about a bird that couldn’t fly because it had a broken wing and the bird knew it. However, it kept trying to flap its wings as fast as it could. It never stopped trying until one day, it decided to jump off the highest branch it could find. I never wrote the outcome of the bird’s choice because the only thing that mattered was that it tried.

When I was 16, I wrote another story entitled “Mirror,” and I wrote this after repeatedly telling myself that I was never going to be beautiful. I would grab at my stomach, my arms, and my thighs wishing the flesh I grabbed would go away. “Mirror” was about a young teenager who, as a child, used to talk to her twin in the mirror, but now she could barely look at herself because society told her she was not meant to be beautiful. This caused her to tape her mirror, not leaving even a centimeter of exposed glass until one day, she found the courage to rip the tape off to reveal her twin smiling at her.

Image source: Jenna Hamra

At 21, I wrote an autobiographical piece for my final in my Filipino American Culture class entitled, “Ang Kapal Ng Buhok Mo” which means “Your Hair Is So Thick” in Tagalog. I struggled for 21 years of my life to accept the physical features of myself that were reflections of my culture that many of my family deemed as unattractive since it didn’t meet the American beauty standard. My hair made me look like a “bruha,” a witch, as said by my culture. It wasn’t until then, that I no longer straightened my hair and let it cascade down my shoulders like waterfalls and long grass that blew through the gentle breeze of summer days. I never tied my hair up.

At 22, I decided to take a chance at finding a voice in Her Campus. I tried to find the “correct” voice amongst these beautiful, outspoken women. The intimidation of their voices, so loud and so powerful was weakening my own and I shadowed myself in mediocrity. I read back my old stories and found that I am, like these other beautiful women, outspoken and loud through the power of writing. It has become a silent strength for us to be heard not only amongst ourselves, but to ultimately expose ourselves to the world and those who want to listen with openness and curiosity. I write to create stories out of nothing but the experiences of my own life. I write to create stories of who I am, to fabricate images that show who I am, and to expose myself to the world. I write for me and we write for us. Image source: Raw Pixel