When people find out that I write a blog, they always ask me what I write about. My response is a little something like, “Uhhh life, my dead mom, teaching, grief, travel, you know, those kinds of things.” People also seem especially shocked when they find out that I am a high school math teacher, like the only thing I could possibly write would be geometry proofs. Actually, my math degree was considered a writing intensive degree because of the amount of writing required when it came to theoretical proofs THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Those made me not love writing so much because my professors did not seem to appreciate me trying to add my “voice” to my writing. I write a lot of letters of recommendation for students, and they always seem a little bit surprised when they read what I wrote, like maybe they thought I would exclusively use math symbols.
My earliest memory of writing was my Kindergarten entry in my school’s Young Authors competition. I took first place with my entry, a true story entitled “Me and My Apple Tree.” Apparently the judges looked past my grammatical error because they awarded me 1st place for my grade level. I remember sitting in our living room and dictating the story I wanted to tell to my mom, because you know, my actual writing skills in Kindergarten were subpar. She then typed the story about the apple tree that I was gifted for my birthday (because what 5 year old doesn’t beg for an apple tree for her birthday?) and I completed the illustrations (also subpar). The next year, I made a valiant effort to defend my title with the fictional “My Dog Spot.” One year, I partnered with my best friend to create a chapter book about aliens invading the school, and I still feel like we were cheated out of an award. In fifth grade, I won the coveted 1st place school award with my compilation of stories of my favorite memories with family memories. I followed that win up with a 1st place D.A.R.E. essay. You could say I peaked in 5th grade.
Through high school and college I was told what I had to write about by teachers and professors and like most teenagers, I didn’t like being told what I had to do. The one exception was my junior english class where we had to write for the first 5-10 minutes of class every single day, but we could write about whatever our hearts desired. I also kept a lyric diary, which was essentially whatever Dashboard Confessional lyrics summarized my teenage angst that day.
For a long time, I forgot how much I loved to write. Then my mom got sick and was willing to let me use my writing to keep family and friends updated. Writing those posts made me realize how therapeutic writing was, how it made me feel grounded and centered and a little less alone. After my mom died, a dear friend encouraged me to keep writing in some form or another. And from that came this blog.
Step one to setting up a blog is coming up with a name. My first year of teaching, I contemplated a teaching blog (because lol like I would have time to write on the regular) and I took to Facebook to get suggestions. Out of that came a tagline that I just loved: The exponential problems of growing up and other tangents on life. If I ever write a book about teaching, that’s golden. Please don’t steal it. I knew I wanted this blog to be more than just about teaching. I wanted it to be about wherever I happened to be in life, whatever happened to be on my mind. A piece of my mind. Writing gave me peace of mind. alittlepieceofmynd.
I’ve started a lot of things in my life that I didn’t stick with for very long. Dance classes, saxophone playing, speech performing, healthy eating, etc. So I had no idea if this would be just a phase. However, the internet has been letting me write the words that bubble up from deep inside of me for almost two years now. This spring, I decided to purchase my blog domain. Which really means next to nothing except that no one else can have it. Also, I get paid ad revenue. So with my current earnings of $0.45, I am officially a paid writer. I will not, however, be quitting my day job anytime soon. I also have a family member who tells people I’m a writer anytime she talks about me, which I think is the absolute coolest and it hasn’t gone to my head in the least.
I am continually amazed when I find out that friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers read the words that I write. I might love writing, but I also love numbers, data, and statistics. I am repeatedly amazed when I see how many people have read my words, sometimes in different countries. Sometimes I think that it is completely absurd that I publish my thoughts and feelings on the internet for the world to read, but then I find out that someone relates to my writing, was moved by my writing, laughed at my writing, cried at my writing, or felt something because of my writing, and I realize how wonderful it is that people let me share this piece of me. So thank you for allowing me to share a piece of my mind while finding a little peace of mind.