Hello, everyone! Today’s post isn’t about the greater world, it will be about me. These two short essays were written for my UGA application, which was the last application I finished. I suppose you can use these as example essay for UGA’s writing portion of the application. So, this will be a bit of something to help understand me better– a memoir, if you will.
I’ve once had a “near-death” experience involving some geese and an old, gnarly pine tree.
A mostly clear sky, a little breeze, the temperature at a balmy seventy-five degrees — a perfect spring day for climbing. Up through the crooked branches, one hand and foot at a time, I would often find my quiet place nestled among fragrant needles. There, the drudgeries of a too-ordinary life for a too-imaginative mind would fall away and I would be free to fancy myself as a character in whatever world I was currently immersed in. Only the slight stickiness of the tree’s numerous small wounds anchored me against the solid bark. It was a portal. Being neighbors, so to speak, I also had quite a few run-ins with geese around the area.
The geese were plentiful during the spring and they bring with them natural alarm clocks and fertiliser for everyone’s lawns. They also come to lay eggs and when a goose has little goslings, you better stay away or else a pecking is going to be the least of your problems.
So, on that day, I was up in the tree and it started raining. Just as I was about to hop down from the last branch, two parents and their gaggle of waddling children passed right underneath and decided to take shelter there. They noticed me but still didn’t move. It was a shock to me, I suppose, being stuck on that last branch as it began to rain harder and not knowing what to do. I don’t remember how I got down. I suppose I just jumped down and booked it before an angry mama geese had the chance to charge at me. Before I had the courage to jump, though, I stayed frozen on that last branch for what seemed like an eternity, torn between fear and urgency.
It is ironic now that I look back at it. Maybe it was a warning that whatever story I placed myself in, it isn’t the real world and that if I went too far, I might not be able to come back.
For this essay, you had several prompts to choose from. Since I’m an artist and a writer, I chose to go with the creativity one.
I am an artist and a writer. My chosen medium is a pencil. It only comes in one color but with a skillful hand, you can create many shades with it, enough to illustrate an entire world. With a pencil, just black squiggles, you can also write entire histories. When I’m bored, I created meaning. When I was bored, I created stories. When I was bored, I drew and wrote. This was what kept me going as a child when I didn’t know how to speak the language and was limited to staying at home and going to school and this has kept me going when I feel like I’m about to burst and not having somewhere to release.
In creating, whether it be characters or interpretative art pieces, I can give a little of myself to the real world and felt it as an affirmation of my existence because it was a manifestation of my thoughts. I think therefore I am. Books told me that I wasn’t alone in the thoughts I was having and that despite not knowing how to communicate efficiently, there were others that wrote like me and thought like me. Others that wished to create a world and develop meaning. I suppose what nurturing I missed from my family as a child was instead provided to me through the indirect sympathies of the characters that I read about. Creativity to me is something that drives me on because then I know I can affect the world permanently when I feel invisible.
When I write or draw, I try to create layers. Beyond syntax and grammar, there is subtext. Beyond lines and shadowing, there is interpretation. I try to tackle universal themes. I write about politics and history through the lens of a psychology student. I try to capture the underlying uncertainty of existence in my art. I try to present to people some sort of self-awareness because those were things I thought about a lot growing up in a low-stimulus environment. It’s a thank-you to those who came before me and I’m passing it on.