Sunday, August 2, 2009


Over the past week, I've been writing an essay in my head.

You see, that's what I do. I write drafts of essays in my head. I form tentative sentences and ideas and move them around and structure everything. As a result, I almost never draft essays on paper. Which, in some classes, is fine, but now that I'm getting into higher level English classes...not so much. Anyway, I digress.

I've been drafting this essay. I write things in my head first because I'll get these ideas when I'm not around paper or a journal or something to start writing a paper in. Or they're just thoughts that I never really have any intention of writing down, but I've started to just kinda think in essay anyway. BUt this essay has been about what happened the summer of 2004 and how it changed me and made me who I am today.

Looking back, a lot happened that summer. I turned 15 and started wearing make-up every once in a while. I found out I was going to Europe with UAM the next summer. There was the Muffin Club, which has, incredibly, influenced my life in sooo many different ways. EFY, Handcart Trek, 4th year at Girl's Camp. Looking back on all those events, they seem like ages ago, but only about 3 years, not 5.

I turn 20 in 4 days, and over the past week-ish I've been drafting the personal essay of probably the most important summer of my teenage years. Events set in motion by that summer still continue to occur (I really wanted to use the word transpire there, because it's awesome, but it didn't seem to flow). And even though I've changed a lot from that angsty 15-year-old who still have half her teenage years ahead of her and basically all of high school and had no idea the grand experiences that would be in store for her in the next 5 years of her life, that girl is still very much a part of me.

In the mental-drafting of this essay, I can't help but seem to ask questions. English Lit type questions such as, "What novel can I apply most to these situations," "How did those few minutes when a bunch of us decided to form the most ridiculous and yet awesome of groups, the Muffin Club, change me," "What have I learned, and what am I still working on?" And in the inquiries, I'm finding that it is really only me who knows the answers. And although the questions might have originally been asked years ago, the answers are just now revealing themselves, and will be for years to come.

Maybe I should actually write this essay on paper. There's a lot I want to tell myself, but not the whole world. I fear the world will read the things that I want only me to know. Maybe I draft my essays in my head first, because I fear to actually let them out of my head. John Bennion, my fear of personal disclosure strikes again. It's all mental--both my essays and my fear.

And despite fears and problems and unanswered questions, I smile, because the past 5 years have brought some pretty amazing friends and experiences and joys into my life, whether it be through the MC, or UAM, TFHS, or BYU. Or a combination. Or something entirely different. You write personal essays by living, not by experimenting with words in your mind. Experiment with experience and let the words just come.

But not too much, because then you'll just ramble like me. haha. Sorry my posts are always so long, friends! I just get writing and then can't shut my brain and fingers up.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Oh, write the essay, silly. Then it can just be for you if you want, or if you don't want, you can revise and turn it into an essay you end up submitting for the David O. McKay contest. Deal? Deal. :)