Please refer back to my earlier posts and read what this challenge is about so that the later posts make sense.
Day 13 Question# 13: What was one negative in your life that you were somehow able to turn into something quite positive?
Answer: When I first read this question, I decided to write about the very first thing that popped into my mind. I grew up in my uncle‘s home and he is the typical male chauvinist with an extra added twist; he is a Latino macho man who thinks women are to be seen and not heard. Back then the message I was getting was that I was not to have my own voice, or opinions. You’re a girl, therefore no one wants to hear from you.
So I began to journal and really made friends with pen and paper pretty quick at a young age. Being that children long for the approval and recognition of their parental figures, I was no exception. One day I ventured out of my shell and I showed him a poem I had penned, which I was proud of because I felt in my heart it was a good piece. I took it to him and I asked him to read it. He did his usual looking down at me through the end of his bifocals which were perched on the end of his bulbous nose much like a surfer trying to balance his board on the crest of a wave.
I stood there frozen, holding my breath and trying to hush the beating of my heart which felt much like a freight train barreling down a dark tunnel at top speed inside my chest. I tried hard not to focus on my uncle’s’ blank face so I looked around in the place trying to count the people around me instead. Finally he finished. I wondered what took him so long to read just a few lines of my prose. The terrible silence continued and all I wanted to do was make a mad dash for the door and forget it all. Then my uncle pushed his military issue glasses back up his snooty nose and then he spoke,
” Well, you know this isn’t any good. Every good piece of poetry MUST rhyme and since your doesn’t, this isn’t good at all.” He gave me my journal back and turned back to his newspaper. I was dismissed just like a scullery maid.
“That’s it?’ I thought. I was in the 8th grade at the time and I had been reading plenty of poetry, I was falling madly in love with Shakespeare’s love sonnets. I knew for a fact my uncle was being narrow minded because not all of the poetry I was reading from the greats I was studying had to rhyme. Being that I was quite shy and also understanding that my uncle would never hear my views, I kept my thoughts to myself.
I didn’t let his insensitivity stop me. No sir! Not when I had been encouraged by Mrs. Gillard in the 6th grade who told me I had a gift and that one day she hoped to see my first book of poetry. Her words have been the steam behind my engine all of these years. Yes, my uncle hurt me terribly but I chose to ignore his biting words and I embraced my teacher’s honey coated positive words.
And I’m so glad I did because ever since then, I have published my first bookand I’m working on publishing my 2nd book; which happens to be a volume of short stories and poetry. When my second book comes out I plan to mail it to my uncle with a thank you note. Because of his mistreatment, I learned to turn the negative around and prove to myself that I can do my dreams; no matter what dirt people throw in my face to blind me along the way.
I am writing this in the hopes that if you’ve been discouraged and kept from following your dreams, DO NOT LISTEN to those haters who tell you you can’t. Turn it around and prove them wrong because that’s the power that you have to hush those voices of opposition.