In the summer of 2009, I tromped into my room with the innocent intention of putting googly eyes on some rocks I had just found, but I was immediately halted with the drop of a jaw. There, on the cardboard house with pipecleaner and toilet paper curtains for my rocks, was a pastey, faded yellow training bra. A hand-me-down no less. When I found my cousins at church the next Sunday, I let them have all of my anger until my face was red. (They like to add that I chased them around the Family Life Center until someone’s mom told me to chill, but whatever.) In return, I received answers I never wanted about the person I had always trusted. Jenny, that back-stabbing, childhood-robbing monster. My mother had betrayed me for a cloth bra.
I immediately went home and furiously poured out the horror I felt into my three ringed binder in the diary section (the other two sections were Ranger Rick articles and schedules for various days of the week that were all the same other than tweaks in gym day and music day at school). I continued that journal into many various diaries throughout the years. Thus, writing became a vehicle for me to channel a side of my brain that would otherwise wither in isolation or truly become grey matter with facts from AP US history about taxes and dead political parties. (I will unapologetically continue to reference that class. It made me feel like I microwaved my brain and all of it spilled out of my ears).
I began writing scary stories for my younger cousins in middle school along with a poorly outlined vampire story in response to reading Twilight. Around the 9th grade, under the pseudonym Leslie Towfus (I thought it was clever that I could hide in plain sight), I started publishing stories on a website called Wattpad. When 10th grade rolled around, I finally deleted all of those sort-of-romances. There were at least three titled “Breathing Again”. In 11th grade, I entered a short story into the Young Authors competition and began keeping a daily journal because I did a research paper on Anna Karenina and Leo Tolstoy encouraged writing every day. Most of my favorite authors do. Yeah, yeah weird. I got it.
I don’t talk a lot, and most of the time when other people talk to me, I just smile and laugh and repeat what they say in a higher tone, but I do love to write. I know it has many, many flaws, but it’s the only thing I genuinely like doing. I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going in the future, but I wrote this because I’m tired of being afraid to share anything I write. I mean come on, I’m leaving Tunstall High School forever in May. I honestly just wanted to share what I don’t in class. Silly or not, I just want practice doing this kind of thing. I want to continue doing it somehow.