Student essay wins nonfiction contest

The Creative Nonfiction Contest at the San Luis Learning Center is open to all students. Students create an original piece of non-fiction over the course of two one-hour workshops, and the winner is chosen from a panel of judges. Here is the Spring 2015 winner:

My Voice

By Alexa Leon

I lived in the shadow of my own agony, confined by the fear of my insecurities. It was as if my thoughts had drained my strength to believe in myself and my abilities. My identity as a person vanished along with life's beauty, due to the perception I had conceived of myself. Such mentality covered my will to endure the pain that clutch onto my body. I became a person that cried each time she saw her own reflection, demolished by the amount of consumption her insecurities had taken over her.

I was afraid of change. Afraid to expose myself to the world, only to end up being rejected. Afraid to vocalize my thoughts and emotions, and not be heard. This idea that had been inscribed in my head over the past few years, commended me to live my life in uncertainty. I knew this was leading me to the path of my own emotional destruction.

I thirsted for an impulse to run through my body. To get that sense of hunger inside of me, that would stimulate my body again. Such thirst would make my sorrow disperse into the thin air around me and bring an end to my suffering. No longer did I want to convey myself as a stranger to my own abilities. I needed to find an inspiration within me to help me crawl out of the hole I had buried myself in.

Such craving for a connection was awakened through the passion I found in art. I still recall my first drawing as if it were yesterday. My mom was at the hospital and I decided to take the liberty of drawing her favorite portrait that was projected on the wall of my aunt's house. It was time consuming to perfect the drawing but the beautiful comments I received, helped me realize the talent that was bestowed upon me.

Through such occasion I gained the interest to pursue art, which allowed me to portray my emotions that had been muted over time. Art became my voice. It allowed me to speak my mind without having the fear that my mind had always clenched to. It became a passage for me to interpret life in the sense that I hadn't been able to do so before.

Art brought closure to me and to the feelings that were piled up inside me. Through people's compliments about my work, I gained the confidence that I needed. I might not be the best artist but being the best is not what is significant to me. What is important is that I have something to be proud of. This gives me a reason to view life with all its beautiful components.

Graphic by Pam Black

Share this article