I was a terrible teenager. I skipped school, hung with the wrong crowd and was generally an overall pain in the neck. I hated school and thought it was a waste of time. I had people who loved me almost give up on me because of my horrible behavior. I could not find anything I was good at and had an overwhelming fear of failing. Until one day in high school English. We were tasked with writing a short story. Not being much of a reader at the time, I can only imagine how awful my story was but my teacher, Ms. Richter, encouraged my writing. That blew my mind.
Over the years, I wrote mostly in private and discarded the ramblings after I was done. My fear of failure again stifled me but I did learn the healing properties of writing. As I grew older, I learned to read more. Each book taught me a little more about word usage and formalizing an idea from a thought to words on a paper. I’m no English major or even terribly fluent in all the rules of the English language but I have come to love the written word. My mind does not function in a fictional world, I admire those who can think of a story and literally bring it to life. I, personally, like to learn from the world around me. Those lessons have helped me grow and turn from being a complete nightmare to a decent person (still a work in progress).
I never got to thank Ms. Richter. She lit a flame that has followed me my entire life. Amazing how one small act or encouragement can plant a positive seed. I’m sure everyone has that one person who changed their view of life. It makes me want to be that person for someone else. I am not sure how to go about it but it seems that in the world we live in today, the opportunities to be positive are everywhere. I just have to open my eyes and realize the absolute importance of encouragement .
I’m going to try to be more like Ms. Richter and look for those places where I can help a spark grow into a flame for someone else. I don’t say writing saved my life but it did teach me a better way to live. It helped me through the dark times and assisted me in becoming a life-long learner.
Do you have a spark to try something? Then try it. You might not be good at first but there is always room for improvement. Each small step is part of an amazing journey that will change your life. I’ve learned not to fear failure. It’s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all (I paraphrased). Learn what you love, even if you aren’t sure exactly what it is, and once you find it you will begin to soar!