Overview: When a Third World Came West

When I was 22 and at a therapy session with my doctor, he told me that I should write down in a journal what I had been through in the previous year.  I had waged a battle between chaos and my level-headedness and the latter had won out.  The doldrums of my common sense had finally taken over and left my sail through various exploits stationary, after a hectic ride of me chasing the eye of a stormy guy. I dismissed the therapist because I was dismissing friends and people and my mom and dad left and right.  I had dropped out of college to follow a Muslim drifter, ran away, gotten married to him and gotten pregnant, all within the course of five months.  When ‘Sam’, the stormy guy, was deported for being an FBI suspect during the 9-11 attacks, I had to pull myself up and move on by working tons of hours at a minimum wage job and twisting my head on straight so that I could sign up for night classes at a local college.

Five years later as a teacher inBaltimorecity with a bank account and money to spare, my repaired relationship with my mom and dad prompted them to invite me on a trip toNorway,Sweden, andDenmark.  After I spilled water all over the disposable camera I’d bought off the street from a merchandise vendor, I decided instead to record my trip by writing in a journal about the tall paned windows that adorned the canals for which I’d look back at and want to remember.  I started scribbling on blue and white napkins at cocktail hour and wound up writing a 34 typed written journal of some of the best vacation days I’d had.  When the writing was over, I wanted more.  So I started up a recollection of what happened to me four years earlier, during a time when I put my parents for a spin, when I ran so fast towards fun that I’d have to, like clean up crews on probation, go back to sweep up the mess that I had made and to say sorry to the friends and parents with whom I’d affected.

When I dropped out of college, got married too young, and prevented a pregnancy from happening, I was desperate to get in touch with other girls who had been in my situation.  When, however, I’d gone to Barnes and Noble I found separate books on each of the issues that I went through, but none of which directly addressed all that I needed.  These days I can get on websites like Planned Parenthood and chime in with my two cents about how to heal from having to make a choice about a child.  But I wanted to write more, so I wrote a story, on top of teaching seniors at my high school, about my experience with Sam.  I couldn’t do anything about the books that weren’t on the shelf when I needed comforting to feel that I wasn’t alone in what I’d gone through, but I can do something for girls who have gone through one or more of the experiences that I talk about in my story.  I want to get my tale out there so that I can be the hand on the shoulder that no one book was for me.


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