A person’s passion and talents work in odd ways. Until about two years ago I always wanted to become a game designer. When I first played Killer Instinct on the Super Nintendo as my Christmas present when I was around four years old, I was impressed by the game and then creating them became my passion. I always drew scenes out of these video games and as I got older, my own characters whom I still write about. Throughout elementary school, I was noted for being skilled in writing and I could keep at it beyond my teachers’ expectations. Barely any of them even believed my experiences during my summer vacation, granted they were such things as going to Disney World and seeing my family in Cuba as well as my ability to write which they tended to tell my mother about. Honestly though I did not care about writing back as I do now even though I never found it boring either. Admittedly though I wanted to focus on writing for video games instead of the art direction.
Life sure changes or at least develops. Common knowledge and all, but since I’m almost two decades old, I figured I would mention it. In my Sophomore year of high school I started to write for my school newspaper and I did well in my Writing Workshop that was really a college writing prep course. My teacher for that class too was amazed at my technique. When the first half of that year ended, I became devastated because I would no longer have that class which I came to love and instead have the required Art class which had only one teacher anyways who was known for being very strict in her teaching method to the point I had to go for extra help after class. Later that year, an open mic was announced to take place in the cafeteria and so I went to read the beginning of the story for my main idea of a video game which has now developed into the novel I plan to write hopefully as my magnum opus. Many other students and teachers and the vice-principal who taught an Honors English class I never took asked for a copy of it were strongly impressed by my work. This was on top of the popularity my school newspaper articles had too which my teachers praised me on. Junior year came and I did a poem at an arts festival ironically during or around Shakespeare’s birthday. Back then, I did not care much for poetry but it proved incredibly popular by teachers, students, and even people outside my high school.
For a project in my Senior year I did an educational short story about a samurai. My teacher liked it so much that he called for a standing ovation. I almost made one of my classmates cry and someone else thought it sounded like a movie. Apparently the vice-principal found out and then after class one day, I snuck into the main office and place a copy of my project into her mailbox. The following morning at a breakfast given to those with the highest honors in the Principal’s List, she gave me back the copy I left saying that she really liked it and that I am a good writer. Looking back I wonder, “Really? I was too afraid to take your class that my writing teacher two years ago expected me to do well in with my skill in writing and she likes my work?” The most important part of my final year in high school was that I established a Literary Magazine which came into my head when I took an art class with the same teacher whose class I struggled in. I spoke with the head of the English department about arranging for a meeting to discuss the magazine. Eventually some people came, one of whom is still one of the few people in high school that I still speak to at times, tag in my Facebook poems, and actually met at the open mic two years ago. While it took forever to come out, I advertised it throughout the building and many people such as those who liked my work the previous year were looking forward to it. It was finally released around the time of the arts festival and was a hit. It did not have a poetry contest though but I was at least given a shout-out to.
Throughout the latter half of my high school years, many thought that I would study English which then I considered useless. In fact, they were often disappointed when I mentioned I was truly passionate about game development. At least my talent was very well known when the only math teacher I liked read my work in the literary magazine. He was good friends with one of the older teachers whom I initially did not feel comfortable around partly because he sounds like the man in the Red Eyes commercial in my sophomore year as my English teacher but he became my Creative Writing teacher in my Junior year and really liked my work. The aforementioned math teacher even told me that the other teacher thought of me as a very good writer, perhaps one of the best he has taught. Finding a college was difficult though as an older friend did not like Bloomfield College, my college of choice which was the only available option anyways if I wanted to study game development. Admittedly, I considered a minor in Creative Writing and when a representative for my college visited, most of the work in my résumé was literary and not visual art anyways. When college came though, I was wrong and everyone was right. It was Hell on Earth for me perhaps or maybe not as I gained some valuable prizes in the end.
My first two full weeks of college went well and I was looking forward to taking the Graphics Design class that kept getting delayed because of when classes started and because we had no classes on Labor Day. My first time in that class was really just an introduction but when we got to presenting some of our work to following week, my dream became a nightmare. It was so bad that I considered dropping out from both humiliation and a feeling as if my passion was impaled with an unlucky stab from a butter knife and then my heart getting cut open by said utensil. I chose to present character profiles of the same characters in my open mic performance and not art, film, or music. My professor for that class asked me if I had real artwork. I humbly told her “no” and she told me that my field is very artistically demanding. Having spoken to a secretary for the Creative Arts and Technology program my degree at the time was based in, I was told I could not change my courses but I could contact the head of the game development program. I emailed him and then I got a response stating that for my area in my dream industry at that time, I really should have majored in English. Too late, the deadline for switching or dropping classes passed and this was what I meant by hell on Earth. My dear mother knew something was wrong when I called her but of course like anybody with an identity crisis I denied it. The truth came out on Thursday during our weekly dinner where I told her I hated college and had to choose the “useless” major of English. I did not even enjoy my time with her as I was preoccupied with highly negative feelings. I dreaded going back to the dorm which I already disliked.
The following week I discovered the best gift I have gotten in a long time: real friends. Taking a break during class, I saw a flyer for a group calling themselves the “Live Poets’ Society.” I did not care much about the art as I did for writing prose but now it is as much a passion for me now as it is for becoming a famous novelist. Little did I know such a small flyer would change my life. I met the said organization’s members who I thought were surprisingly friendly towards me as they became the only people at Bloomfield College whom I have warmed up to. After our first meeting, the founder of the group and a role model of mine whom I will just describe as a mixture of a hipster and a punk because of the way he dresses and his faux-hawk introduced me to the chairman of the English department who was much more pleasant than the ones in the Creative Arts and Technology department felt bad for my crisis and told me to hold it out in the Game Development program. In the end though, I really did give in to changing my major to English, specifically focusing on Creative Writing. This was not enough to keep me at Bloomfield College sadly. I hated my experience at my old college but I loved seeing the Live Poets’ Society every Tuesday.
My only regret about leaving that college was that I would not see them as much. The fact that Hipster-Punk was graduating did not help as I knew one of the people I trusted the most would be gone anyways despite that fact that I became very good friends with some of the other members of the group. My work was very well-liked in my Creative Writing class the following semester that some of my classmates even wanted me to read my work when I did not like it even though I am one of the most brave people I know when it comes to presenting my work. I also got published in the literary magazine thanks to Hipster-Punk and several other friends in the Live Poets’ Society. Even with the success I have obtained, I left my college and felt like I have abandoned some of the only people I trust.
As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It did help me as a writer but I still chose to transfer to New Jersey City University. I did not do much as a writer there besides have a Journalism teacher consider me a great writer and suggest that I write for the school newspaper despite my shyness but hings like writing a ten page autobiography in your Senior year of high school and getting involved in anything about literature are a sure sign that you’re a writer. Until two years ago, I will remember that I have ran away from what is my true passion of writing for the delusion being a game designer. It is bad enough that rather than Final Fantasy, I have become a big fan of George R. R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” instead and I am constantly seeking attention lately for my literary art instead of my drawings and game ideas. I must ultimately thank everyone in High School who liked my work such as the girl I met at the open mic, my writing teachers, and the vice principal, the writer’s group I am currently with, the Live Poets’ Society, and most importantly my mom. I know I did not really mention her much but she’s an English teacher funnily enough and my greatest support as a writer as without her I would have been stuck doing something I hated or I could have ended up a dropout. This truly proved to me that besides emerging strong from my experience at my old college, passion is funny and works its magic in odd ways. If it really was magic, I must say I am blessed with this gift of mine. Not everyone gets to be an artist, but neither does everyone get to be a writer. Not everyone is even a creative mind!