At eight years-old my family made the transition from Quevedo, Ecuador to Houston, TX. Needless to say, it was a culture shock. I felt misunderstood in school because regardless of being placed in ESL classes, no one understood my accent. Determined to learn the language, I dedicated my time to reading bilingual picture books. This is when my love for literature grew. I would spend hours in the Henington-Alief public library picking as many books as my bony arms could carry. During my tween years, my diaries were filled with rhyming poetry. From a young age, I found pleasure in word play.
Upon graduating high school, I decided to join the Army. I was shipped off to Fort Leonard Wood the summer after my senior year. After my training as a military police officer, I reported to my unit, received my active orders to deploy to the Horn of Africa and while in Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, I was introduced to Operation Paperback, a non-profit organization that sends books to troops overseas. When I was not out in the sun fulfilling the 12-hour duty days, I was in my room absorbed in my latest-picked novel. My habit continued onto Kenya during my second part of the tour. It was my escape from my own reality. I found comfort in the smell of old books and the worn pages when feeling homesick.
After my six-year contract with the Army, I enrolled in Houston Community College, choosing criminal justice as my major. Although I believed I wanted to continue in the same field as when I was a service member, I found myself enjoying my English classes a lot more. The semester I took creative writing my sense of direction changed. I was overjoyed when writing. Learning about authors and literary eras excited me. I would often find myself doing my own research.
Fall 2016 is the first semester in which my major is officially Creative Writing. I am determined to dedicate myself to what I love. Literature has always been my salvation when I’ve felt disoriented. Writing brings me happiness. It has given me hope and created an escape. Although I have not found the exact direction in which I want to go as I writer, I aspire to create emotion for readers as many authors did for me. I hope my work generates knowledge and inspires others into pure happiness.