I discovered myself in my writing

At twenty (20), an age when most young adults are trying to figure out who they are, my mother gave birth to me. I grew up as an only child, being raised by a single-parent. My mother was a young black woman from a huge poor family. She had thirteen (13) brothers and seven (7) sisters. My father on the other hand, who I later discovered had other kids, was a much older man. He came from a small, well-off family, had a Ph.D. and travelled often. In a real sense I am the product of two distinctly separate worlds. At a very early age, I began to wonder who I would turn out to be. I was a talkative child, an inquisitive child, always curious about everything around me. I was an observer, an over-thinker and my imagination got the better of me most times. I had many cousins and was the youngest amongst them. As the “baby”, I often felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously. I decided then that in order for my voice to be heard, I would write my thoughts down and so began my dream of becoming a writer.

Both my mother and grandmother would stress the importance of gaining an education so school became my focus. As a practice and something I would look forward to, my mother would buy me a new book every time I did well in term exams. The further away these stories were from my reality, the more I enjoyed them. I soon gained a great likeness for authors such as Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters and William Shakespeare. The way they made their characters come alive and the construction of their words evoked a strong emotion of amazement in me. I was captivated by the fact that these books took me to a different world. Playing outdoors was short-lived. Instead I stayed indoors to write stories and poems. My adventures were penned and my joy came from reading my stories to whoever would spare a listening ear.

I discovered myself in my writing. I observed my mother closely: how she struggled with self, relationships, family and career. I saw how hard she worked to provide for me and ensured I was not in need of anything; so I wrote about strong women. I watched how often my grandmother prayed so I wrote my views on religion. I listened to my girlfriends and their relationships with males and then I wrote about love and sex. I examined how my country developed over time, so I wrote about politics and culture, how I often reject my own culture and how disgusted I am at how everyone uses the term “culture” as an excuse to get away with murder, rape, paternal absenteeism, drop out of school, or become teenage parents. I wrote about healthcare, parenting, entertainment, and the dynamics of human life.

The more books, magazines and news I read the more I realized that there was so much more to life outside my tiny island, and so my love and desire to travel began. When I discovered the likes of Anna Quindlen, Helen Thomas and Barbara Walters, my dream to become a writer transformed into becoming a journalist. I realized that journalism would not only allow me to write but also investigate, report and most importantly give a voice to the voiceless.

As a journalist, I want to capture the expressions of different individuals all over the world. I want to interview persons who live in societies in which they feel trapped, or where their voices are not always heard. I want my stories to shape a conversation about change, because I understand how it feels to be trapped in one’s country or without a voice and how books can help an individual change the way he/she think.

I want to be an advocate for literacy because I believe that illiteracy is a death sentence. I believe that reading books helped me to become who I am today and as a writer I can not live comfortably knowing there are millions of children who can not read. I also believe there is no better time to be a journalist than now. Writing, exploring the dynamics of human life, discovering truths untold, being ethical and innovative with my ideas are what I live for. I want to make a career out of journalism because I am curious, passionate, and believe it is my personal responsibility to reveal stories worth hearing.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. This was a beautiful essay, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to read it. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you very much 🙂 i just followed your blog and felt inspired too… You should subscribe/follow back. All the best with your writing and your future 🙂

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      1. Thank you! And subscribed. 🙂

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  2. Chad says:

    Again I say KayMarie, its a privilege to have read your words here.
    It has made me develop a greater appreciation for you and I now understand much much more.

    To the blind, they will really think that you are a pretty spoilt child….but now that I can see, in fact, now I know that you have the virtues, grace and strength of the Princess that you truly are. You are blessed with dual vision Kay, and by this I mean, you have seen the world on both sides. To be a great person, educator, exemplar, motivator, leader….Princess, you must have an emotion that cannot be bought nor sold but gained through experience. And by this I mean you must have “Empathy”…you must know what it is to be there… I mean exactly there….to truly empathize with someone, you must have first hand knowledge of the situation….let me explain…

    Recently I lost my mother, and everyone was like…”I’m so so sorry”….they were sympathetic…because they went home to theirs and they could never really understand what that is like because, and I mean…no fault of theirs, they just don’t know…. but some of my friends who have lost theirs never said that they were sorry or anything like that… they simply shared their companionship with me…as if nothing ever happened…this is because they don’t have to be sorry for me…they know…and they know exactly what I need…..”Empathy”….not “Sympathy”.

    An example of lack of Empathy….
    I was purchasing some “Sauce” doubles on my way home, in Curepe (the real original source doubles…best in the north), and bounced up a pander of mine….close enough bredren that we hang out, call each other etc…he lives a few blocks away from where I live…so we good.
    Up comes this dwarf looking monster of a human being asking for money (throwing up now that I am remembering), and I was like what the hell is that….how did you reach manhood?? you should have been dead by the age of 3 when that hump started to appear on your back…your leg started to turn backward from the knee and your head started to assume more space in your crib that the rest of your screwed up body…(Jesus please forgive me for I have sinned terribly)… I told the said monster that I am certain his parents committed suicide seeing that he is alive today…(Oh My God…Father, please wash me in your blood)… low and behold, my pander is pulling out 40 dollars to give this thing…as well as having a conversation with Smeagol’s brother. I nearly died, just don’t even think you can touch me eh mr. Gollum…you have killed my appetite for the month.
    I asked my friend, what was that all about? why did he give that monster money to buy food and water?? don’t you know you have just prolonged the God damn thing’s life by possibly 2 whole frickin days?? I am furious with you….

    My friend told me when he got home, that I never knew this, but he had a brother that died when he was 8 years old, he was dumb, retarded and had very small for his age. They never knew these things until he was 4 and realized the child just simply would not talk.

    Empathy is something that can make the difference between a Good person….and a Great person.

    Feel blessed that you can Empathize with the Good, the Bad, the Rich, the Poor, the Young parent, the Old parent…and so on and so on…. It surely makes you better than me!!

    PS: It may also save you the embarrassment of telling your good friend that you would have liked to see his little brother die because he was not born with all the normal traits that you were born with. (God – I rebuke the Satan in me)

    Chad – Hawaii

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