I was sitting in freshman English class at a community college in Orlando, Florida. By day I was a soldier in the United States Army and at night I was a college student. As the end of my enlistment got closer, I started taking college courses. I wanted to get a jump on school before I got out and attended full time.
"I want to share an essay with you," my professor said to the class. "It's from one of your classmates and it's exactly what I was looking for in regards to last week's assignment."
She started to read and instantly I knew the words she was sharing were mine. My cheeks burned red. I was both excited and embarrassed.
The story she shared with the class was about the day I went to finalize my divorce. Just before my 19th birthday, I met a boy. Less than six months later, I married him. We were separated within a year, and divorced within two. The story I wrote centered on our last argument and drew parallels between that argument and everything that went wrong with our marriage.
I was 22 years old at the time and the only way I could process the failure of my marriage was through writing. Unable to articulate my feelings verbally, I'd always felt comfortable when pen hit paper. That's the way I'd always been. As a kid, I wrote in a journal about my parent's crumbling marriage. I scribbled away during my teenaged years, recording the angst of that time. Nothing had changed for me. Words and writing were my escape. I could tell a story on paper I could never utter in person.
After reading my story, she went on to critique my writing, pointing out the "good" parts. I beamed with pride. It was at that very moment I knew I'd be a writer. I wasn't sure what I'd write. I wasn't sure where I'd write. I wasn't sure when I'd write. I just knew my life would be molded around my need to write.
I write. That's what I do. I write all the time. And I dream of going back to where I started as a writer/reporter.