When I was 17, I made my escape from the revolving door of drugs that kept me wandering around in circles. I would push the glass door in front of me, constantly staring at the exit, telling myself I would leave the confined passage I brought myself into. Eventually I did, with a rehabilitation facility guiding me by the hand into the building of adulthood. I had nowhere to start. Throughout the four years of walking in circles, some people stuck by my side, willing to exert more energy into helping me than I was worth, and others vanished. I told myself that there was a way I was going to pay my dues to society. I dedicated my life to a path of helping, and decided to come to school to become a professor.
While on the path to professorship, I entered through the door into the creative writing room. The room started off as being dimly lit; I couldn’t see the sunlight through the windows that would guide me to the gold-tinted world of teaching. Then I wrote my first non-fiction piece. Streaks of light flooded into the room and created steps that ascended closer to the sun than my original goal would’ve taken me. I learned that if I transcribed the experiences that I went through into words that are accessible by any literate person, I could help them learn from my experiences. If I coupled creative writing with the goals that I have already laid out for myself, then the possibility of people who I could possibly help might be endless. I could teach, in the most traditional sense of the word, or I could show the life lessons that I’ve experienced, so if somebody was stuck in a similar circular motion, then they could straighten out and continue forward. But literary citizenship added an entirely different dynamic to the extrinsic value I’ve been searching for.
I view literary citizenship as my ability to both assist other in their goal of becoming writers and introducing stories that could teach into the world of readers who might miss out on the ability to read something influential. My life goal is to help, and literary citizenship allows me to do that.
I’m a flea in the ever-expanding carpet of the internet. A parasite who wonders through the endless threads, seeing some that excite, some that are outrageous, and some that humble, and some that anger the to the point where I want to start a small fire and let it spread and engulf everything that is found in the internet; but throughout all of the emotions caused by the internet, I keep my mouth shut, and continue to wander. My presence is futile to internet, I’m invisible, I have no voice, and there is no interaction between myself and the rest of the individuals who are either fleas or threads. My hopes are that in the future I can ascend to the role of a thread. A thread that adds to the endless size of the internet; a thread that interweaves itself with other threads and creates a community of threads with one interest. I would prefer not to be to vibrant fluorescent green thread that everybody sees, but I want to have some sort of impact on the carpet and myself.
Right now, if you looked at my social media usage, you would think that I don’t use it. I never post anything, and the only usage I find out of it is the send messages to my roommates when they don’t answer their phones or I’m out of town and want to chat. There are no impressions, and there’s nothing that I would be known for. I’m just a voyeur hiding behind my computer screen seeing the exciting parts of everybody else’s life, but never sharing any information about who I am or what I’m up to.
If I wanted to get a galley of a book with limited copies and a gigantic fan base screaming about their insistence of getting a copy and the massive amounts of others that their reviews influence, I’d be last on the list because of my lack of influence. They’d pass over me like I was a moldy sack of potatoes at a grocery store. I have no influence, no readers of my work, and up until this point I was satisfied with being a voyeuristic parasite because it kept me out of trouble and insults from other users of the web. Recently, I found out that when the insults surface on the internet, which stemmed from something that happened in the non-digitalized world, it was appropriate for me to bite my tongue and hold my words back. If the negativity can happen, regardless of what you put out there for others to see, then why not take the risk. The rewards for including myself in the endless depths of the internet will outweigh the consequences, since the consequences will arise no matter what.