I wasn't born crazy. It just sort of surfaced like lost light. Guarded in my bedroom, I would draw frantically on the walls, covering undisturbed surfaces like they needed to be killed with crayons. I was only five or six at the time I started to become manic. Though, of course, nobody saw my erratic behaviors as mania. I was just a kid after all.
I would become lost in a world nobody could ever understand. Unless, of course, they became manic too. My mother became engrossed with her hectic work schedule and my father was nowhere to be seen. Like most parents, they figured childhood had a strong grip on my mind. They never thought I would become “sick” later on in life.
At the time most kids played outside on swingsets, I played indoors. I ravenously destroyed Barbi dolls and G.I. Joe's, flushing their detached heads down toilet bowls. I'd talk to the little voices that rang true inside my head. And, when I became angry at my mother, I'd throw mounds of hardback books at my bedroom walls.
The first time I ever said a curse word was when I was seven. I called my mother an asshole after unsuccessfully completing a math problem. It was between midnight and one in the morning and I had been working on math homework since my mother got home from her shift at the local hospital. Schoolwork never came easy unless it had to do with English. Math was out of the question.
Words flew in and out of my mind like a plastic bag caught in a wind tunnel. I frantically jotted down words and sentences I had no idea the meaning of. I was beyond my years in composition and I had no idea I'd become a writer later on in life. Highly praised by my teachers and fellow students, I kept writing tucked beneath my arm, holding on to the only thing that eased the pain inside my mind. While my older brother spent his time playing sports, I spent my time notoriously creating characters on little blank sheets of paper. My characters weren't worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. They weren't even worthy for the sixth grade story of the week. But the voices commanded me to keep writing down words, entering uncharted territory for both me and my mind.
When I wasn't busy with rhetoric, I'd engross myself in nature. Most of the time, I'd sit outside staring at the sky. I'd become fantasized by the clouds that seemed to create their own special shapes. Lying on my back in the dewy grass, I'd stick my feet up in the air and pretend to walk on the clouds. Despite the ever changing ups and downs of my mood, I could hold on to nature as a constant in my life.
When I took walks around my neighborhood, I'd pick the already bloomed flowers from my neighbors patches. I'd pluck them from the fresh ground and tear each petal off carefully so as not to rip their delicate skin. Sometimes, I'd eat the petals and then suffer with the sniffles for the rest of the night. I'd look at the trees as they bent and swayed with the wind—a current of beautiful force.
I'm unique in the way a rainbow is to a storm. When I shine in the darkness, I become untouchable. There are three things that I have learned in life thus far: always do your best, be impeccable with your word, and never settle for anything less than your dreams. Luckily I've had the grace of dreaming dreams that gleam even in the darkest of storms.
I become untouchable when the storm hits. Emotionally I am drained. Physically I wilt and if I see a rainbow in sight, I turn the opposite way. I'm not sure where I learned to cave in. Perhaps, I picked it up from my mother in her darkest days. Or, maybe I lingered too long in my father's drunken eyes. I am a combination of two souls. I hold their darkest hours in the pit of my stomach and I seek to find refuge in something greater than myself.
It's been a long road since those days out in the flower patches. I am now a twenty-two year old, young adult who has only twenty-one credits to put forth towards my education. I have twelve thousand dollars worth of unpaid student loans and graduation seems to fade into the far future. I've attended three different collages, all of which have commended me in my efforts toward writing. I'm scared to see which way my life turns from here; this moment, right here and now, is the pinnacle of my existence. I'm a poor English major who hasn't read the famous authors: Homer, Churchill, even Twain. Writers who've influenced the world of writing, all of whom I've never read a word. I'm a fake, a fraud. I've pretended to be scholarly even though the only writing I enjoy reading is my own. You can say I'm a bit self-centered but I promise to be the most humble. I've already published one book but self-publishing rarely takes you into fame and fortune. I'm shy to place a comma in the correct spot, even the semi-colon throws me for a loop. But the dash is one of my favorites of grammar tools. It is symbolic to my life thus far. It's been put on hold—a steady pause of discovery.