In the beginning there was poetry
I always wanted to write poetry, to be a poet, to perform and be apart of the spoken word community. I aspired to do all of that and in actuality set out to do nothing. For the longest time I stunted my growth in this art form. The first poem I ever wrote was for an english class in high school, it was called “Her perspective”. I knew way before that assignment that I loved poetry and had a passion for writing. As a kid I used to write stories so the thought of performing stories was an aspiration I couldn’t refuse. But I did, I’ve always gotten great feedback on the poems I’ve performed but it has never been enough. I didn’t only want to hear that I was good, I wanted to feel it for myself. I always wanted to do more with my gift and I wanted my words to get people thinking, even if they didn’t like or understand what I was saying.
So, I had to start somewhere because jotting short poems in my blackberry wasn’t cutting it. At around that time Unity Charity was starting up in my school, it is an after school program teaching youth how to beatbox, break dance, graffiti and do spoken word. After joining Unity in Grade 10, I accelerated in creating my poetry and that’s when I really found my voice. Unity gave me opportunities to perform, work with talented spoken word artists and express my poems freely. But as usual, where I began, I stayed and I staggered for a while. Even though I had a couple opportunities to perform at assemblies at my school, I was still so hesitant.
In my last year of high school, I decided I was going to host my own open mic. I have no idea how but, I accomplished it and I was so excited and ready to keep doing more. The feedback was great but once again I didn’t know where to go with it, I had opportunities to join spoken word groups for the youth in the city and I never went, there were venues to perform at and I never performed. Every time I would go to a competition and see youth my age performing, I’d become envious and say well, that could be me. I had so much passion for poetry, I would stay up late listening to my favourite spoken word poets, David Bowden and Jefferson Bethke at the time, trying to learn their styles to perform just like them.
When I left high school, I went back to the note pad on my phone and hid my unfinished poems there. When I got to University, I shared my poetry with my friends. It was well received and I felt more motivated to get back in the game. I did a couple of performances and I felt like this was it I’m finally doing something with my gift. But, I slid back into my old ways, I was just a girl who did poetry sometimes. Summer of 2015 was the summer of my life, I went to the best place on earth….Camp Kirk! If you ever need a pick me up when your down in life, work at that camp, no joke. I was surrounded by the most supportive, encouraging group of loving people that made me apart of their family. A summer at camp is where I grew confidence in my poetry, I performed and I collaborated with many other talented people. After leaving that place, I said there was no way I could leave here and not do anything with my poetry.
I got to my second year in university and I kind of put poetry on the back burner. I thought about it all the time, about what I could write about, about how I wanted to record, work with other artists, film, start a blog, a website, perform in competitions and inspire other youth. Any poem I started, I couldn’t like and would never finish. And here I was again just sitting on the one thing I loved to do most. So, I got tired of my bitter attitude and I went out and I performed in my first ever competition and came in dead last (only because of a time penalty, or else I would’ve killed it). Anyhow, I didn’t go back until recently and for the first time ever I feel like this is finally the time of my life where I’m going to do something with my poetry. I hope someone holds me to it though.
The point of my story
It’s ok to be in the middle, not know what you want to do or how you’re going to do it. But, if you love something don’t give up on it, if it’s all that you think about, pursue it. Sometimes knowing that our dreams are bigger than what we think we’re capable of is nerve wracking but it just means it’s worth fighting for.
Ignite your Ambition