I wonder if Stacy’s mom still has it going on?
I wonder if Stacy’s mom still has it going on?
My dad threatened to kill me today. Death by beating, and if he waited until Friday for my 18th birthday, it’d be with a baseball bat because he’d “make it worth going to jail for.”
Will he follow through? No. Because he told me to “just be ready for it when it happens.” Meaning he intends to mentally disturb and torture me for as long as he’s still alive.
Every time I write, I see it as creating something that never existed before, and in so doing, I’m altering the very fabric of existence by adding a little thread to the fabric of space and time that never existed before. From this, I consider life itself a story we’re all currently writing about ourselves- Time: our blank pages to fill. Decisions: the twists we create in our plots. The world: our source of inspiration. Appearance: what sells us. Reputation: something that could make you a Best Seller amongst your viewers. So it was naturally challenging for me to believe that someone would allow these components to be preconceived for him/her rather than create themselves as an individual. Why would anyone let others tell them who they are? I couldn’t understand this until a classmate introduced me to someone.
I’ve been a friend to Tinsley Elaine Shire for years. She went by her initials- Tes. Like everyone else, I knew her through the reputation she had as an accomplished athlete and exceptional student. One day during a class , the teacher asked each of us what we were going to be in the future. Eventually, Tes was next to have her name called. Anyone could have answered for her. She was going to be something like a doctor, or an engineer like her parents and brothers. She replied that she wasn’t sure; an answer that was common amongst the rest of the class. But as the teacher moved on to question the next student, Tes quietly trailed off and finished her statement “I was thinking maybe a writer or something…”.
As an avid journalist and poet myself, hearing Tes’s unintentional muttering as she thought aloud filled me with a puzzled curiosity. I couldn’t believe what I had heard.
Tes wanted to be a writer? And more important, not a doctor? This was the kind of news that could’ve made for a popular topic amongst the infamously pretentious “I’m-The-Fun-Moms’ Group of East Bernard” during their child’s school-related event.
I searched her out myself after school that day, and after a brief explanation Tes agreed to meet me for coffee to discuss what she said to herself and I happen to hear. Just as our conversation began to peak, I had the pleasure of becoming acquaintances with a stranger: Tinsley E. Shire, the artist.
I buzzed Tes with more questions than the Bible had scriptures. “Well no one really knows this, but I want to be a writer and travel the world- Especially France and Greece. I’ve been writing journal entries and some poetry for a while… I mean, I know they’re not very good compared to other people’s stuff, but man, I love writing. I rapture in the feeling writing gives me,” said Tes with a smile to match her words.
As we sipped our lattes, she continued by explaining to me that you do something that you love because you love it. Just because you love it, doesn’t mean it will always come easy however. Tes’s obstacle was telling her family. Even with the belief that her mom would eventually come to support her in becoming a writer, the actual act of presenting the confession was what kept Tes from coming out the ‘writer’s closet’. As she elaborated on how her family stressed the importance of a concrete career choice and always instilled in her that success also required a husband, multiples of kids, and settled lifestyle; I began to understand the fear this young artist was wrestling with.
I reflected on myself and realized that I didn’t share my literary works with my parents or peers either. Even though it was for different reasons, when I extracted the specifics and considered the base of the situation; it became clear: We would rather let others assume they know us if it means they’ll accept us. I didn’t want my parents to think I was a different daughter after they read the contents of my poems. Tes didn’t want anyone, family and friends included, to think of her differently if they knew that she didn’t want to be the doctor or college volleyball player they expected her to be.
Tes opened my eyes to the reality that, in some cases, we simply can’t be who we want to be and the reasons why. Because, what will my parents think? What will my friends say? Will they still treat me the same? We’re all faced with these worries throughout our stories.
Since our talk, Tes has enlightened me that our coffee shop conversation was the first time someone truly accepted her for who she was, and that’s what encourages her to express herself without reservations now. All she wanted was her break into existence as the real Tes. And I’m honored to do that for her as a fellow artist by writing this essay- The Story of Tinsley E. Shire, the artist.
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