Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thank You

I always was a bit of a morbid child. At 14 I was reading Helter Skelter and writing poetry about the beauty of death. I guess its just the way I formed. Well when I was 16 I got into a really bad car accident. Some moron was going 20 mph in his muscle car down the side aisles of the high-school parking lot and I entered the main aisle to drop my friend off after lunch. He hit my passenger side, poor thing still in the car, and knocked my 1983 Buick Regal a quarter turn with the sheer impact. I got a concussion and a trip to the E.R., and a lifetime of back pain. Lucky for me it was the Friday before Spring Break. I was confined to my bed while all my friends partied and had fun. And it was an additional week after that before I was released to go back to school and work. My junior year term paper was due shortly, and I could not have cared less. Passing 11th grade English is not exactly something that is optional if one wants to graduate. And not something one can do if they don't turn in their term paper. But I procrastinated until the night before it was due. Luckily all my research and very detailed outline had been done well before the car accident. But I just could not for the life of me string it together into sentences with a heartbeat.

I fussed around with half-hearted attempts to use the material I had written. Long before copy and paste even existed. It was either the concussion or my brain, but I just could not do it. So I did not turn the paper in. I went to class and the teacher was out sick. Yes! The substitute date stamped all the term papers my classmates were turning in and I went home and wrote my term paper. From start to finish, all at once. I chucked everything I had previously written and I wrote all six pages of double spaced MLA citation perfect with 4 pages of referenced sources on my dad's MS-DOS computer. Printed on his Dot matrix printer. And I turned it in the next day, a day late, which guaranteed I could not get an A. When the teacher returned the papers the following week I was the only student that received an A. To say I was shocked was an understatement. But don't be too jealous, I scored 380 on my math SAT's. That is barely a pulse. 

I was going through some files the other day and came across this infamous term paper. Are All Relationships Doomed? An Analysis of the Works of Larry McMurtry. As I read through it I discovered that I had concluded indeed, all relationships are doomed. Destined to fail. Oh such a positive child I was! But really what I am trying to say is, shouldn't somebody have recognized that? Every other student in my 3rd period 11th grade English class had scored lower than I did, after a few months of struggling to put the whole concept together. Nobody, not any of my teachers or counselors or anyone, saw something raw, waiting to be developed, and channeled me in that direction. Something with English...writing...words? No, instead I got a degree I hardly used and spent most of my 20's working in a completely unrelated field. It took illness to get me writing. And the wonderful time and place technology provides. And more illness. But really it took you all. Anyone who has ever read this blog. Dropped me a note. Let me know. Left a comment. That your heart can feel my words, your reality can be a little more understood. That the best way I know to express myself is working. My voice is being heard. And for this I simply must say, thank you.

Thanks for joining,

1 comment:

  1. Thank YOU Leah - for being here for all of us. I couldn't make it without you!