I write for the little girl who sat inside her kindergarten classroom during recess.
Across the room, she could see her classmates playing dress up and fiddling with plastic bananas in the miniature kitchen set. Others pushed Hot Wheels cars across a plush carpet of roads. Some watched an episode of “Between the Lions” on the fuzzy and clunky television set of the early 2000s.
She pressed on a heavy, inky blue marker and wrote.
Her command of English was not quite there. She wrote her R’s backwards. She spelled “and” as “nd.”
But still she wrote.
She wrote all sorts of stories — things about gymnastics classes, seeing butterflies on the way to school, how water moves through the water cycle.
She wrote about the stories around her.
As the years went on, she realized that writing gave her a voice. She was always smaller than her classmates, and her words often got swallowed up by the noise of the room around her.
In the classroom, she shrunk.
On the paper, she commanded.
She sat in theaters and watched people leaping, singing and crying. She loved those stories, but she wanted more.
She wanted to write them.
So now, I write for that little girl who sat in her kindergarten class during recess, her head buzzing with ideas. Putting marker to card stock, she recorded the world around her.
And now, with that little girl going into her senior year at the School of Media and Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill, she has a voice. She no longer shrinks. She gets to write and tell stories every single day.
Now, I put fingers to keys. I record the world around me.
Now, I command.