I started writing a book last year...it's no where near finished, but I wanted input for motivation to continue. Let me know what you think.
My friend always told me I should write a book about my life. I was flattered. I thought about it though. Then thought how difficult it would be and just dismissed the fact. The reason I thought it would be difficult was because I didn’t think it would be interesting. I thought about the type of audience that would actually enjoy reading what I wrote and find it insightful and fresh. I couldn’t think of anyone in my in crowd or any one I have seen on television that would actually enjoy it. Oprah popped up into my mind often and I thought about if she would. She has enjoyed reading a wide variety of books. This is obvious being that she has probably a hundred different types of books in her book club. Maybe just maybe she would curl up in her mansion and be able to look inside of the heart of a young girl growing up. No trauma. No starvation. No drugs. Just plain living. Living with the things real life throws at you. That idea was simply out of my reach. The second reason why I felt I wasn’t capable of producing something great was because of the things I have forgotten. I can take myself back to certain events, but I can’t remember minor details like what I was wearing, exact words, and dates. I just thought it would be too difficult for me to explain exactly how I felt at those very moments when I felt overjoyed, helpless, and sometimes fearful.
One day I just decided to give it a try. After all I was so bored, and my brother’s girlfriend was basically living with us for yet another weekend which meant she would consume my only friend’s time for three whole days. So cramped up in my tiny room I decided I’d start writing. I wrote on a paper first. With my black pen I began to write the date, and wrote exactly what I thought was necessary to begin. I wrote only because I feel like people never write anymore. I feel like we are too lost in technology and one day we will not have written witness accounts. Every thing will be digital which means it can be easily removed or edited. It won’t be raw and uncut. So I wrote. Then I thought about the books I have read over time about people’s own lives and noticed that in the book they tell about the process in writing their own book. If that makes any sense, but anyway I notice they are always using there laptops. I thought to myself maybe they do that for a reason. On paper for some reason it was much harder to get my thoughts across. Then my hand would cramp up and it explained why I had given up so many times before. I got on my laptop and gave it a try. It was so amazing. I had finally committed myself to writing this thing. No matter what happened, No matter how long it took me. The words would just spill out over the keys as they are now. I later thought that I would rewrite it by hand to be true to myself and have an unedited version of it.
I am ever grateful for that friend who believed that I could do this. She is much older than me, but she talks to me as if I were some wise old grandmother that has all the answers to life. I can’t believe some one who has lived over 6 years more than me actually thinks I have the key to life. It flatters me. It makes me feel like I have actually learned something out of this crazy life. It makes me feel like haven’t become a victim, but a victor. It also puts a lot of pressure on me though because at times I have no idea what to say, but at least I am honest. I try to never pretend to know when I truly don’t. I give the best advice that I can, but you will learn more about this wonderful woman through my own life. Sometimes looking back at that I wonder why she hadn’t written her own book, but I guess God has a plan, purpose, and will for every thing.
May 24 2008
People have always told me I should right a story or book about my life, but I have no idea where to start. There are so many things that have happened to me I just can’t think of how to completely explain in depth how I got to where I am right now. I was blessed with the ability to sing, but I’ve always told myself that I didn’t know what to write or how to a write song to say the least. I can write eloquently and my English papers almost shock me when I am done. To sit and write a song, put a nice beat to it, and make it a hit is completely out of my reach. I am now eighteen years old and more than ever I just want to burst out with this powerful voice I have inside. I remember as a child how passionate I was about singing. I would set up all my teddy bears and dolls and perform for them. They never said a word. They just sat and enjoyed my performance the way they knew how. Duh!? They didn’t have life. Still with the brush full of hair in my hand as my microphone I would bare my soul to them. The song I can remember singing was Destiny’s Child first hit record featuring Wyclef Jean, “No,No,No.” I had no idea what they were talking about or what the song meant to them, but I sang as though I did. My best friend Jennifer and I would burst out in our bras and jean jackets as if we were famous. I laugh at it now, but we were so serious back then.
I remember when I first met Jennifer. She was very pale with striking greenish, hazel eyes. She had long dark hair. It was curly, but more wavy then anything. She later got a curly perm to improve that, but she was beautiful. She was very hairy as most Hispanic children are, but she was often picked on because of it. Her whole family was made up of short people, so you can only imagine her fate. She was such a good friend to me. She was a year older than me and though we were not that far apart in age for some reason I admired and looked up to her. I thought she was so much prettier than I was and she had so much more class than me. She would take advantage of that fact at times. Now that I look back at it I think of how cruel children can be at times. They don’t know. They have no sense of true right and wrong until they are told, so I can’t really blame her. She was in my life when I was developing and becoming a young lady. I guess this is one of the most vulnerable times of life and I hung on to every single thing she would say.
I remember one time being in her kitchen she convinced me into eating dog food. She lied and told me it was bacon. I watched her eat it. Well at least I thought she did. Then I went ahead and took a huge bite out of this long stick of doggy treat. The taste wasn’t as awful as one would think it would be. It just had a terrible after taste. The after taste was kind of like you sprayed air freshener in the air and accidentally opened your mouth too quickly. Like something you knew wasn’t supposed to be edible. She looked at me so shocked but nonchalantly said, “I can’t believe you ate that. That is a doggie treat. I didn’t really eat it. I faked it.” I was so upset at her, but I kind of felt so stupid for actually being convinced into eating something foreign to me. Now I understand why dogs love it. It’s kind of like fake human bacon, but it has all these extra things in it to make it healthy for dogs to eat.
She was such a bully, but I knew she loved me and cherished my friendship. I don’t remember a day not speaking to her during that time. I would even be upset and sometimes jealous when she went away to visit her father in Prince George. One of the reasons was because she was away from me and two was because I didn’t get a chance to visit my father as often and as easily as I wanted to. She absolutely loved her father and wanted to live with him. I couldn’t fathom her living with him because she would have left me alone to live with my mother and because I wouldn’t be able to see her. That is one thing we had in common. We both hated our mothers for one reason or another.
I didn’t like my mother because she never understood me. She never cared for me as she did for my brothers. I felt like the demands and work you have to put into raising a girl was just too much for her. She didn’t have the answers for me and she didn’t understand why I didn’t get it. I remember one time being with Jennifer outside and I was so terrified of asking my mother the simplest questions because she would always scream and make me feel stupid for even asking. It could be something simple as spending the night over a friend’s house or even going to the mall with them. I can’t think of what I wanted at this time, but nevertheless I asked Jennifer to go ask what ever it was for me. She liked Jennifer she would let me spend the night with her and go anywhere with her, but I guess this particular day we knew we were asking for too much. Jennifer walked into my house, screamed my mothers name and my mother answered. When my mother answered Jennifer walked into her room completely unaware of what she was about to witness. There it was this hairy man that was not my father just pounding at my mother in ecstasy, making sweet love to her, I guess. All I know is that Jennifer ran down the stairs and out the door as she laughed so hard. She always laughed. She thought everything was so funny. It annoyed me so much. She would laugh at the most inappropriate times. One time she dropped a stack of books on me while I was lying on the floor. At this time I was still developing in my bust area and I was constantly sore. The books came crashing down on me and I almost threw up from the pain I felt. I was literally paralyzed for a second. It hurt so badly. She burst into laughter. I know she didn’t mean to do it, but I was ready to get up and let her have it. She laughed so hard she could barely get her apology out. It was so annoying, but being young I knew I couldn’t hit her. She would beat my frail body down with ease. Anyway, I didn’t understand what happened. My mom walked out looking so discombobulated with her bra over her shirt screaming Jennifer’s name. Me sitting there completely clueless I wanted to know what happened. Putting two and two together I got so upset that my mother had allowed this innocent child see the most disgusting thing in the world at the time. Deep down inside I was so glad it was not me. I was so embarrassed and I screamed at my mother. I was mortified. You could probably see the steam coming out of my ears. My mother quickly grabbed me up and ordered Jennifer back to her house which was about ten apartments down. When I was inside my mother yelled and called me all sorts of names. She then violently spanked me. I am pretty sure she doesn’t remember that now. People don’t ever want to remember when they have done wrong. If I was to tell her about it now she would probably say I was being dramatic or that the story went a different way. I remember now just sitting in the living room crying because of such anger I had inside. I never used to cry from pain. I always cried because I was so angry. I guess that explains my anger problems that arise at times now, but especially the tantrums I throw towards my family. I sat there shocked. I thought she was the one who needed the beating. She was the one who tainted our minds and scarred us for life. I just didn’t understand and my mother didn’t understand why I didn’t understand. Those were my reasons. Those situations were the ones that made me want to move in with my father so bad. Jennifer’s reasons were different. She could talk to her mother any kind of way. She could scream and get what ever she wanted. She was a spoiled brat to put it plainly. Her mom was an older lady and Jennifer was so much younger than her sisters. By the time she was four she was already an auntie. Her sister had a child at a very young age, but it still shows the separation between them. Her mom was such a club hopper. She would leave every night and wouldn’t come back till early morning. She would leave Jennifer alone the whole night watching movies or playing with her dolls. Once I came into her life it was better because she had some one there with her. We would just play with Barbie all night. Jennifer had the coolest, newest ones. Mine were all beat up and pierced. I definitely can’t blame my mother for that. She would buy me a Barbie and I would let other people borrow them. When I would get them back they’d all be marked on, pierced, hair fried, and greased up. I was so generous to let the kids around the neighborhood borrow them, but it was always at my expense. When playing we used to make up these crazy stories and to think of how old I was at the time I don’t want my kids knowing about that type of stuff at that tender age. We would have HIV testing, have sex with Ken, nose and fake tongue piercing, and so much drama, but it was only in that world. The world where there were no rules and we could create a life we expected in the future. It makes me wonder if children still do that. It seems to me as though our society has made our children grown up too quickly. I am grateful for the time I did get to play. We did it not knowing about the real issues that people had in there actual lives. People do actually live with HIV and people often do have children very young. Jennifer wanted to move in with her father, step mother, and little step sister Sarah. There life was much more “normal.” Jennifer longed for normalcy I guess. She wanted to sit down at the table with her family. She wanted scheduled lunch times and play dates. She was not content in her mothers club hopping, cigarette smoking, and solitaire playing world. She wanted out. She did everything in her power to prove that she didn’t want to live with her mother. She even took her case to court. After the custody hearing she called me. She could barely speak. Her mother had won her case. She got to keep her child. Her mother was devastated at the whole fact that they were trying to take her away in the first place. She would call my mother crying at times. She was definitely not an unfit mother. Jennifer was granted every wish she could think of. Sadly she just wasn’t satisfied.
After the hearing Jennifer eventually settled for just visiting her father over the weekends. It was soon forgotten. I really couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to be around her mother. Her mother left her alone at night and I longed for my mom to leave me alone for one minute. Her nagging was unbearable at times. Anyway, the thing I loved most about Jennifer’s mother was her interest in Jennifer’s music. She was one of the only ones who believed in me and her. We would put on shows and she would genuinely listen and critique us. We longed for some one to take us seriously. We found that in Jennifer’s mother. She would tell us what was good, how we looked, how we sounded, and who should sing what. My mother never really showed much interest. I don’t think it was that she didn’t care. I think it was the fact that the odds of us getting famous were just out of the picture for her. She was more concerned about my education than anything. I was doing so poorly in school, and now that I think about it I can’t explain why. It wasn’t hard. I just stop doing my work. I stopped caring. I felt that way about a lot of things except for my music. I stopped caring about what my mother thought and started caring about what I thought. I feel like the reason why I would get bad grades was to defy her. Just to be rebellious and even though I feared the beating I knew would come. I was just happy knowing I could hurt her and take her to that place she would take me when I felt betrayed. Just knowing that I could get her to that point of anger where she could do nothing, but hit me gave me a sense of satisfaction I guess. I felt like she was content when I was upset, and when I was happy she was angry. Of course she doesn’t remember this, but I do. I remember. I thought I couldn’t take myself there, but now as I type. I completely remember. The brain works in weird ways. People never really forget. Usually people that have serious issues like drug addicts, prostitutes, or people with eating disorders have trouble remembering why they got to that point. Where in the midst of it all did it get to the point where it became incontrollable? Sometimes people can’t remember off hand, but if you dig deep inside there is always a reason. You may not remember at the moment of how you got to that point but your heart does. Your heart never forgets.
Jennifer and I would sing together all of the time. People in the neighborhood knew us for our singing. It was not long before we needed some one else to complete out perfect harmony. That is when we brought in my mother’s friend’s daughter Janet. She could sing well maybe not as good as Jennifer and I, but she got the job done and she could also rap. That brought a nice twist to the trio. Janet was Dominican. She was short, brown skin, and had course hair. She was a slim girl, but she had thick hips, legs, and thighs. Her face was beautiful. She was a good asset to the team, but she brought a lot of drama to the picture. We would argue a lot mainly because of jealousy. We were young so we fought over verses, clothes, barbies. Just about anything. We soon had to call the group quits. The older we got the more we fought, and we began to fall apart. Jennifer and I continued to sing together because we were close friends, and singing was something that we just enjoyed.