I was born in East Orange, New Jersey, lived in Newark for some time. I don’t remember too much, but I remember enough. I remember the elementary school I went to, Johnny L Cochran Junior Academy. Our uniforms were Grey and Burgundy, girls wore skirts and boys wore pants. But every now and then girls would throw on so pants. I know I did. I remember the way Jersey smelled, kind of like a mix of rotten eggs, a trash yard and a sewer. Definitely not the best thing about Home. I remember being in the midst of the city. There were always people walking around on the sidewalks, sidewalk vendors selling everything from cologne to belts, purses and even jewelry. I remember the streets being crowded, which was one of my favorite things. There was music, loud music just being played from some lone stereo. For me, jersey was fun and live.
At one time, my father lived around the corner and I was always eager to get to him, he was my best friend. Our adventures included bus rides all over, along with the topsy turby ride of the train. My favorite sound was walking into Penn Station and feeling this great vibe that an adventure was on its way. New York was our favorite place, with arcades and helicopter rides, trips to see the Statue of Liberty, with our awesome conversations about the real world that seemed to never last long enough, he never ceased to amaze me. Though I haven’t seen my father in a really long time, he is and will always be my best friend.
One summer changed everything. My mom moved us to Raleigh, North Carolina. My two brothers, my little sister and I were no longer in a place familiar. North Carolina was bright and hot. There was a city, but it was nothing like what I knew. I remember it smelling like Pine, because there were so many trees, more trees than I honestly knew existed. It smelled like honey and pine and it was a beautiful dream. North Carolina was different, but there were some places that reminded me of home; reminded us of Home. I missed NJ for a very long time, still to this day I do. I missed the people, the busy and the loud. But I mainly I missed my dad. At that time, I was 7 and it was really hard not being able to see him like I was used to. North Carolina was different and I am aware that I said that already but it really was. 14 years later and we are still here, though things have changed dramatically, I enjoy the quiet more than I thought I would. The chirping of the birds from morning to night. The stars and the moon, how they take over the sky. Winter nights are my favorite nights, along with Spring nights. There’s a graceful hum that sings in the silence and its music to my spirit.
I was always the girl that never said anything. In a crowded room I sat in a corner, the closest one I could find and just observed. I watched the way people spoke, what they’d say, how they’d say it. I watched their body language. I never did it on purpose, I just watched blindly and I was never comfortable in my own skin to join in. It’s a surprise to a lot of people when I tell them that I hated reading, I just didn’t want to do it out of laziness. Writing, I did but it was nothing exciting until I met a teacher here in NC that introduced poetry to me. There was a lot going on with me and when Mr. Marshman showed me poetry, being able to express myself without realizing that I was writing was pretty genius. Now before Marshman, I would write little songs to sing myself to sleep late at night, so I knew writing but it didn’t hit me like it did until poetry.
Writing became my everything; my release. My anger, rage, my joy, happiness, my sadness, all of my sadness, my questions, my worries. Writing became me. I was always private. No one could read it, no one but me. Writing was personal, it still is personal. I won’t share everything, but I’ll share most things. I’ve grown in so many ways over the years. I believe that writing was a gift from God. He has shown me so many things throughout my life and given me the ability to express the way that they affect me. He’s given me the ability to be a voice to those who need one and to myself when I need it. So I write, not only because it is me, but because I want to see where He will take me.
Poetry was the key that opened the door. And once it was opened, I wanted to see what else was behind it. That’s when I started reading novels and learning about stories. I wanted to learn how to write my own, so I kept reading. Finding the books that interested me, learning about characters and the many different personality combinations. I read until I couldn’t read any more. And then I started my own stories. Short stories, books, that are still works in progress and I even tried writing screenplays but those were a little difficult, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still try.
Eternal freedom. That’s what forever bound stands for; what it means. When I first created this blog, those very words would not leave me. I didn’t understand, but my soul did. My soul knew before my brain could connect anything that I would come to this point and would be able to express to you it’s true meaning. As I said earlier, writing became everything. I was guarded, at times I still am, and I created this blog without fully understanding what it meant, until now, until this very moment. I always wanted to be free, from everything that I let bind me. I wanted to be free, with no strings of any kind attached. That was the deepest yearn in my heart, the purest. That craving, that fire in my belly became so intense that it burned me from the inside out. And then I met Jesus and I was right where he wanted me to be. And I Am Free. I am Eternally Free.
You can expect romance. Lots of romance. Joy. Frustrations. And maybe a few surprises in the mix. You can expect my honesty and it may offend some people and if it does offend you, I can’t apologize because may be, just maybe, it’s time for a change. No one is perfect and I am far from it. I don’t run to perfection; I embrace my imperfections perfectly.
So enjoy my world, feel free to speak your mind, to share it with others. I won’t run away, and I won’t stop expressing what I feel, what I see and experience. I am free. I am eternally free.
©Al’Nysa S. Goodwin