Tag Archives: True Friends

Twenty-one reasons why.

5 Aug

I just got back from spending the weekend in Virginia. I went to visit my best friend Skidmore to celebrate her 21st birthday with her. Since today was her 21st birthday, I thought I’d dedicate this blog post to her. So Skidmore, here are 21 reasons why I love you (even though there are so many more):

  1. You are the truest friend I’ve ever had, and I’m so grateful every day to be able to say that I have someone like you in my life.
  2. You are the least judgemental person I know. I still remember the night at Salem when I finally opened up to you about my past. You were the first person I opened up to, and realizing in the very beginning that you would just be there to listen meant so much to me.
  3. You’re the best hugger I know. Seriously.
  4. You’ve helped me realize what it means to believe in myself. Even though I still have pretty low self-esteem, I’m working at it, and your belief in me to be who I truly am gives me strength.
  5. You love Taylor Swift and country music as much as I do. Who else can I belt out Josh Turner with?
  6. You’ve converted me into a VT Hokie football fan. No words can describe how much I love that. đŸ™‚
  7. You introduced me to Middleman, even though we haven’t watched it in forever. I still want a teddy bear suit though!
  8. You’re a kickass apparel designer. Seriously…the dresses you made for the fashion show were amazing.
  9. You have a giant Scrabble board made out of duct tape. We’ve been best friends for 5 years, and I still can’t get over your amazing duct tape skills.
  10. You’ve fully supported me while I’m working on my memoir, and I’ve loved your feedback. There’s nothing I can say to express how much it means to me that you’re invested in my writing.
  11. You have the best dog in the history of the world.
  12. You’ve helped me develop a sense of style, and for the first time ever, I actually really love shopping for clothes. Who ever thought that day would come?
  13. You love Jodi Picoult as much as me. One of these days we’ve got to go to one of her book signings.
  14. You’ve made me see that true friendship can’t be broken by something as simple as distance.
  15. You’ve helped me realize that I can literally talk to you about anything, and that means so much to me.
  16. You introduced me to foot massagers and back massagers. They’ve changed my life.
  17. You are an example of a true Salem sister. I’m so glad that Salem brought us together, but more than that, I’m glad that we have proved that true Salem bonds can never be broken.
  18. You’re probably the most unique person I know. Actually, I take that back…you are the most unique person I know.
  19. You introduced me to Sid, who is an amazing photographer and took some great pictures during my first photoshoot.
  20. You introduced me to V8 Fusion. My life will never be the same.
  21. You are the most amazing best friend I’ve ever had, and I’m so happy that I get to say that you’ve been in my life for the past 5 years. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you, and I love you so much!

 

 

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Thank All Of Your Writing Mentors.

14 Mar

After yesterday’s blog post Does Music Help Your Writing generated so much feedback, I thought I’d stick with the topic of writing for today’s post as well. However, I don’t want to focus on just writing, but mainly how certain people have impacted your writing…and the different ways that they have helped you broaden your writing experience. I’ll start with some of the writing mentors I’ve had over the years.

  1. My seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Trish: Though I enjoyed writing before I took Mrs. Trish’s English class, the belief in my ability grew when I entered her classroom. Not only did she encourage me to keep on writing, she helped me realize that I could use writing as an outlet, as a way to escape when reality became too painful. She was also the first person (other than my parents) who told me that I had “a gift.” Hearing that from someone other than my parents was a huge turning point. I remember when I let Mrs. Trish read the first article that I ever got published (Writing To Survive). She cried, telling me how proud she was of me and how she knew that one day I’d truly impact the world with my writing. I didn’t remember some of the great advice she gave me until reflecting on what I gained from her in terms of my writing, but I know that she was the one who first really supported me (besides my parents) in my love of writing. To this day, we still keep up, but not as much as I’d like since college keeps me busy.
  2. A previous co-worker, Mike: In my junior year at Salem, I interned at the Columbia Star (and wrote the article “Writing To Survive,” mentioned above). One of my co-workers there, Mike, had a huge impact on me and my writing. I interned at The Star for three weeks, and while I was there, Mike was constantly picking at me. Not in a mean way, but in a way that solidified our mentor-mentee relationship. When my internship was over, Mike wrote me a letter (that is still one of the most honest portrayals of what it means to be a writer I’ve ever read) and gave me Stephen King’s book, On Writing (which has been extremely helpful through the process of writing my book). I met Mike back in 2009, and I’m happy to say that we keep up a regular email correspondence, which I’m grateful for. He is one of those writers who I know will give me completely honest feedback on my writing. He knows what I’ve been through, and so he also knows that I can take the criticism, especially since he also points out that the criticisms he gives me come from his heart since he wants to see me grow as a writer and a person.
  3. My AP English teacher, Dr. Cahill: Between my internship with The Star and the start of my freshman year at Wofford College, I took a hiatus from writing. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have people supporting my writing. Dr. Cahill is one of the teachers that I’ll never forget. She loves what she teaches, and she makes that known to her students. Though I didn’t do much personal writing during my senior year (since I had so many other responsibilities like college applications and being the editor-in-chief of my school paper), I still had support. For every literary analysis that I wrote in AP English, I went to see Dr. Cahill in order to get her feedback before turning in my final draft. Though she knew that I was an anxious student, she always made a point to try to lift me up. I remember one day when I was in her office she said: “Amelia, you’ve got to believe in yourself a little more. You’re a great writer. Can’t you see that?” It was in that moment that I realized how hard I was being on myself as a writer. To this day, I’m still hard on myself in terms of my writing, and I think it’s something that all artists face when trying to express themselves. However, having Dr. Cahill point it out to me was an important realization in terms of growing as a writer.
  4. My Freshman English teacher, Dr. Cox: Beginning in August of 2010 (my freshman year at Wofford College), Dr. Cox had a huge impact on me. She’s a writer herself, and one of the truest writing professors that I’ve known. I remember one specific assignment we were given during the fall semester of 2010. The assignment was to write a short story in which we held a specific belief and then over time our position/opinion changed regarding this particular belief. I put a personal spin on my story. I wrote about how as a kid I thought that I only had friends because I thought they pitied me. This opinion changed when, in seventh grade, I befriended my first true friend, Lauren. She showed me what it meant to be a true friend, and she helped me realize that I shouldn’t automatically jump to the assumption of pity when it comes to friends. Anyway, Dr. Cox helped me so much with this story. After a short conversation with her after class, I realized that she knew me better than I knew myself. I remember the end of that conversation because Dr. Cox said: “Amelia, writing isn’t true unless it costs you something,” and I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget that. In my case, this meant showing my vulnerability to Dr. Cox as well as my English class, and I was scared. However, I got positive reactions from my classmates, and on future writing assignments I noticed that my classmates were sharing stories that were more personal for them. One day, I came out of class smiling because after having numerous classmates share personal stories, Dr. Cox pulled me aside and said: “It’s because of you, Amelia. You broke down the wall of fear that people had built around their personal experiences and made it known that it was okay to share them.” That is something that will always stick with me because it’s a reminder that my words have the power to impact others around me.

I have no idea where I’d be without these 4 people. Well, yes, I do. My writing wouldn’t be as developed as it is at this point. I wouldn’t have grown so much over the last few years. Thankfully, I still correspond with all 4 of my writing mentors, and every day I am happy to have their support and love. As writers, we all need guidance, whether we care to admit it or not. As it turns out, the people who guide us may be some of the most influential people in our lives, because they’ve taught us not only what it means to express ourselves, but how to look within ourselves to find our true inner voice. I know from experience that it can take a while to find your inner voice, but once you’re able to find it, a strong and life-long connection to creativity, and ultimately, to ourselves and those around us, emerges.