The Heart of Texas

Another Your Story entry, this time from the creative mind of Emerald over at EmeraldCity.

Emerald writes a lot of great stories on her blog, some fictional stories of snippets of characters’ lives, some personal stories of her life and her writing. She has a wonderful voice and a sense of humour and you should definitely check out the heartfelt stories she’s been writing on her blog!

Here’s her personal story, about all the things that make her who she is today. As always, please do leave a kind comment! Enjoy :)

***

The Heart of Texas

“Born and raised in the heart of Southern Texas….

For some reason this was the first thing that popped into my head when I was asked to write my story. I wasn’t born or raised in Texas, in fact I’ve never been to Texas, but I felt like it was a good place to start.

You see, when Alex contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to participate in the Your Story project I was ecstatic! Of course I wanted to talk about myself, but when I actually sat down and tried to put my story, my life, what makes me me, into words I struggled. How could someone who loved talking about herself not be able to explain her life? What was worth telling? What would people want to hear about? And gosh darn it, how could I fit my opinions on bras and explain why I am literally uncomfortable in my skin in the same post?

(I personally dislike bras and think they are more of an accessory than a necessity, and my eczema break out has made me want to rip my skin out, by the way.)

Well, just like when I decided what to get for my tattoo, I had to decide what I couldn’t separate from my life.

Dancing is a big one. I often attribute it to an addiction and I full heartedly believe that I went through physical, emotional and mental withdrawal when I tried to quit dance. I was sober for six months. Barely.

I started dancing when I was 3 years old; started at Dimensions in Dance at 5; began competing at 8; did two years at Star Performance Academy for more technique; majored in dance for 4 years in high school; graduated from Dimensions at 16; and joined my University dance team to start competing again at 18.

Dance is in everything I do. From the way I walk with my posture intact to practicing ballet barre at the bus stop. I will dance at work regardless of who’s watching and will count everything in eights. The smell of sweat and hairspray smells like home and I would be nothing if I didn’t have glitter in my hair and bobby pins on my floor. Every part of my being moves in time to noise- whether it be a song on the radio or the sound of plastic bags blowing in the wind.

Dance has even made its way into my writing. Especially when writing with my characters, Bridget and Tye (or Brye as they are now referred to). I use phrases like, “Our kissing was faster now and I could feel our teeth bumping as our technique became sloppier,” and “Tye’s fingers started dancing along my hip bones.” I like transitioning points of views, topics and times without it jumping out at my audience and missing beats. I like fluidity when I’m dancing and I only hope it evolves into my writing.

There are also certain stories that I think make it into everyone’s stories. You know the ones; the explanation of your name, that scary thing that happened when you were a baby, that one time you acted like a kid from the new milk commercials. These are stories that everyone has, but are uniquely you.

I was named after the Emerald City and Aunty Em from my mom’s favourite movie, The Wizard of Oz. I was separated from my parents for the first three days of my life because there were complications with water in my lungs and having blue skin. I was five when I discovered, and then undiscovered, that my hidden talent was sticking my head into chairs at Harvey’s on the way to go apple picking.

These are things that anyone who has met me knows because these are things that I cannot separate myself from. I would be nothing if I didn’t have a unique birth to go with my unique name that I continually lived up to by being the first kid in my class to get her head stuck in a chair.

So maybe my biography won’t start with “born and raised in the heart of Southern Texas.” Maybe I didn’t win a Nobel Prize, or grow up travelling the world.

Maybe my biography will start with “35 million Facebook statuses later, Emerald realized that her friends were all on Twitter.” Maybe growing up as the heir* to an ice cream store will be cooler than the kid who went to Paris for a weekend (because when you’re a kid ice cream is waaay cooler than the city of love- ick!) Maybe my passions with dance, writing and comedy (which I failed to mention, but I think it’s obvious) will be more important than winning “best hair” in my senior year of high school.

There are all these things we’re taught to strive towards, to be “normal”, but maybe they aren’t meant for you or me. Being popular or a child genius or born in Texas** don’t make me who I am, but words, movement, sarcasm, the Emerald City, and being born a Smurf do, and I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.

Xo Em

*My parents have informed me that I was never really the “heir” to our ice cream shops.

**I don’t know why I’m obsessed with Texas all of a sudden, it just seems like how my opinion of a good biography would start.”

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2 thoughts on “The Heart of Texas

  1. Pingback: O Canada…. | EmeraldCity

  2. Pingback: Your Story Doesn’t End Here | Valourbörn

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