It's been a part of my life ever since I was thirteen, and it has taught me so much and shaped who I am over all these years. But more than anything else, poetry showed me how to listen; it gave me a reason to sink my fingers into the earth around me and dig out meaning. In other words, it gave me a reason to love and think about this beautiful, scary, and fascinating world.
You may ask, why poetry? Isn't that what old people with monocles and Ph. D.s do? That's definitely what I thought.
But in reality, I did poetry for a very different reason—because it was easy. First of all, my poems didn't need to be very long, so that, right off the bat, made it easier than wordy, expansive fiction. Also—and this was what really drew me to it—none of my family could really tell if my poems were bad, so they always made me feel like I created something cool and interesting. Whenever I tried drawing or making some visual art, even my parents couldn't fake it. With poetry, they didn't even know where to start.
And from there, my love and passion for poetry only flourished as it became a central part of my identity and personality. As I thought more deeply about my world, I grew closer to my emotions and inner spaces. I learned how to laugh with my whole body, cry with a full heart, and see with clearer eyes.