Writing has always been something that I enjoyed. I always felt that I did not have enough time for it like I wish I did. WSP let me tap into the things I enjoyed. It gave me the space and time to not just help others but also myself. I got to explore a new style of writing that I have always wanted to pursue and enjoyed reading others’ experiences but often found myself hesitant about pursuing myself.
To put your writing on display can be quite scary. Especially those exposition pieces that usually are really personal. I feel as if I am sharing a piece of myself to the public which is scary for a person that does not like showing my poems to others or putting my personal experiences into words as well.
As a Writing and Creativity Counselor I felt that I learned so much. Working with students on subjects I have never taken classes in or on stuff I did not know much about was exciting. I felt good when I learned something from the student as they also hopefully learned something from myself as well. To see a student mold their ideas or thoughts onto paper is exciting. The whole purpose of being at UCLA or in college is to mold critical thinkers and leaders. To see it come to live is amazing.
It also helps that there are those exciting moments where I feel like such a winner. I can think of the time that I helped Pedro Infante’s granddaughter with her paper on music from Mexico. Pedro Infante is a legend in every way possible. It is one of the most recognized names in Mexico that generations will know of. To be up close to somebody that was close to the legend themselves and to discuss the impact of various identities on Mexican music was great.
When I think of myself before coming to WSP, I think of a person that always lived a bit afraid of my emotions. Afraid of being honest and having people see parts of myself that I like to hide. I grew up keeping much of that hidden. WSP taught me to be honest with myself. I have never found a space that wanted me to be open and real about what I feel. I think that my fellow co-workers know a lot about myself that I don’t think I would have let people into a year ago. It was scary as hell and I struggled in opening up to be honest but there I was writing an honest poem about what a shit friend I can be and how things hurt me.
There has been so many memories and experiences with WSP. My favorite would probably be the poetry workshop “Home Is..”. I have always wanted to facilitate a writing workshop and to finally have had the space and time to do so was really exciting. Poetry workshops were what helped me write more and improve my writing. If it weren’t for the writing workshops, I would probably still be the same writer that wrote shit poems at 16. Writing workshops were the way I channeled what was going around me into something I could understand. It was my way of expressing such experiences. I wanted to share that with others. I wanted people to understand writing as a form of leadership and advocacy for what matters to somebody. To have the space and time to do that brought so much joy to my writer’s heart.
Be open to anything and everything. On the job I have encountered people that do not necessarily agree with my beliefs. I found myself underestimating myself if I should be working there. Through it all, I felt as a leader. I felt like I truly was assisting students in their growth as students and leaders. This of course means self growth as well. Whether it be learning how to turn things on time or facilitating some activity, it’s all a learning process. You just have to go with the flow and let yourself be open.