By Katerina Bonderud, TIWP Student
When I was young, I used to write on my walls. Just out of sight from anyone who would stumble in or out of my room, it was a secret I kept behind the door of my life—along with many other secrets that I hide in random places in the world. Some you may find if you kicked over the right stone. Others that you’d have to spend days hiking up to until you find the waterfall which hides the most golden truths and trinkets.
Written in purple: Shoot for the stars, and if you don’t make it, you’ll land on the moon. I was feeling trapped that night. I had a hard time breathing and my eyesight was blurry. At the time, I couldn’t take in the fact that I was born different.
I have been told to go after my dreams. But first I must go to school, then college, then get a job to be able to live, and then make the most money you can. And once you are sixty, then you can truly live, with a sore back and weight of a family to feed. I walked this path. Knowing with each step where I was headed.
I want to write my story and narrate it myself. No one else. Is what I wrote when I failed a class presentation.
My teacher got impatient and ripped the board out of my hands, placed it on her knees and ran quickly through my points. I was told to go to my seat. And in that seat, I longed to darken and fade away from the classroom.
I was warned that seventh grade would be my worst year. Why? I have never dared to outright answer the question. But looking back, after years gone by, I know why. And I think I always knew.
It’s just me, myself, and I. Solo ride until I die. This one was written in a thick black sharpie. Later on, in a fit of anger, It’s just me was underlined over and over with a red felt-tip pen so many times that it poked a hole in my wall. My house is old.
Today I take the leap. I’ve jumped and made risks before, but this one is different. I’m saying goodbye to the life I have lived up until this point. My dad has his earbuds in and is escaping from reality by pulling weeds out of our yard. My mom is rushing around the house, deep in thought, cleaning all the surfaces and changing all the beds.
And I’m here. The place I’ve worked up to all my life. Conquering how I was born different. Owning it.
I get out a pen. A red sharpie. I take a breath. My door is wide open as I write.
Your past doesn’t define you. Your future has yet to be written. You only live once. Flip back to the first page and read all you have written. It’s a quiet story. One with a loud orchestra, but you now stand on the outside of the theater. You hear everything you’ve gone through. You were there through all the practices. Through all the mess ups. Through the times where your hard work paid off. Everyone’s watching you, but all you see is black with lights shining on you. You’re the only one on the stage. You play your sweet melody. That music won’t ever stop. You stand on the outside of the building, in the cold winter air that twirls your hair. The music travel down the quiet street, seeming to caress all the buildings and swing around every lamp post. You gather yourself, and walk the other way. But you will never forget that melody.
My hand is stained red. I clip the cap on and drop it to the ground. I step back. Noticing all the stories that I kept hidden behind cabinets, pillows, paintings, doors, curtains, and more. And I grab my paint brush. I start by curving the brush around my walls. Standing up tall on my tippy toes and then so low I sit down. I don’t step back and look at what I drew, I just immediately get the big roller and paint my walls from bottom to top, top to bottom. It’s just me and the bird outside who knows what I wrote. That bird will chirp and sing the song to the opening of a new story. She writes chapter one: a new beginning.