I am going to tell you a story of a nerd, an introvert, and a punching bag of social norms. That nerd is me. After finishing high school and entering university, I reflected on my time at school and pitied the young girl I was back then. Sounds sad? Well it isn't because I now realize that those experiences have helped to mould me into the person I am today.
As a young girl, in my primary school years, I was a loud, energetic, and often naughty child. I would climb things, jump on things, laugh a lot, and smile constantly. I was often rejected or ignored, people call it bullying, even back then but my naivety and ability to lose myself in my own world made me oblivious to it all and protected me for a time. My mind was my playground and what others did or said didn't matter. As I grew I began to lose that naivety, started to notice the goings on around me. That is when life for me began to change.
In high school, at first I was the girl who would make friends quickly. Some may say that is a good thing, in a sense I think it is too, but I gave away my trust too easily. I was caught up in cliques with high expectations, and because I was different, was often on the outside. If I didn't agree with what others said, if I voiced my own opinion, events would quickly get awkward. Of course, not all of my friends treated me this way, but over time I learnt not to speak in groups, I learnt that my opinion was unimportant, and I would fade into the background. By the time my final year, year 12, came around I was a complete introvert, the opposite of how I was as a child. My emotions became bottled up inside until I ran to my teachers or parents and just cried. During all this however, I became exceedingly proficient at understanding others, their emotions and motives. A number of my 'friends' discovered this and I became their personal psychologist. Having the weight of their problems on my shoulders didn't help my situation.
Requiring a release, I turned to writing. I attempted my first novel at the age of fourteen with the aid of my English teacher at the time (unfortunately the project flopped). I came up with the idea for SKY STONE the next year and throughout my high school years, that teacher continued to help me with my writing. I couldn't thank her enough! My emotions would flow out on to the page as I wrote and hence my leading lady, Skyla, was born.
How many people can say that they have written a novel (and are half way through a second)? Out of all my high school classmates I don't know of one that has done so. The same goes for my university friends. Without these experiences over my relatively short life, my writing would not have become what it is. All I can say is that I am excited for what is to come!
Since entering university I have met and become friends with people who understand and accept me for who I am. They laugh at my strange quirks and I at theirs. My comments don't offend them nor do they disregard my opinions. I know I can look to them in need and they will answer. If those friends are reading this, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You have helped me regain my feet and now I feel confident enough to tackle the world, as an adult, as a woman, as an adventurer, and as a writer.
Scarlett Van Dijk
Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
Subscribe to my blog to receive email updates of my latest posts.