aLexandra (sh00garb00ger) wrote in writers_vote,

Rating: G
Genre: biographical?
Novel, short story, poem, song, etc?: short story maybe?
Notes: I need you to rate my writing, if you don't mind. Be as harsh as you need to be. I just felt the need to write this. Its NOT my best I know, just tell me what I need help with.

There's some part of me that has always dreamed of going to Maine. No reason in particular, it just seems like a pretty decent place. I know there probably isn't much to do, that's what I've heard. But, from what I've seen and read in books its seems like quite a beautiful place.

Last year my grandmother told my mom about a house, this might seem a bit complicated, that her mother rents out to people during the summer in Maine. So that’s my mother’s mother’s mother, or, simply, my great grandmother. Not just the idea of going away for the first time in my life for summer excited me. It was then when my interest in the state first began. So, many people dream of going to California or New York, but for me, it’s the more rural places that you haven't heard about, I'd like to visit. It’s their natural beauty that hasn’t been touched yet.

Unfortunately we later found out that someone was already occupying the house for the summer so my traveling dreams were crushed, just like they always are.

Winter 2004 at Curtis High School, Staten Island, New York. It was time to choose our electives for the following term. I, being the art lover, desperately wanted to take studio drawing or ceramics but the majority of my friends were taking this journalism class. Sure, I attended a yearbook meeting here and there in my freshman year, but I never thought of writing as my forte. In the end I took the class because I wanted to be with my friends. To my surprise, I liked it!

In May 2005, I was fifteen; my journalism teacher asked the class if any of us wanted to apply for a summer program at Princeton. It sounded like a once in a lifetime opportunity. We would go to locations or events and write a story everyday, for about 10 days. Then we would visit the offices of the Washington Post. Imagine that!! It was like a dream come true.

I was asked back for a second interview along with the eight other people that applied. Only this time, it was with three people in person. Sitting there in front of three people being asked about what publications I read, none, and what I thought about the past presidential election, I could care less about politics at that time, was nerve-racking.

I didn’t get in of course. It was my first ever interview, what do you expect? But the middle interviewer, as I was telling her why I liked to write, pointed out something to me, which was, as I see it now, one of the most life-changing events ever. I told her some version of this; “I love investigating and reporting the truth to the people who want to know what’s going on around them.” There was a long pause. “I also love art and photography.”

“Have you ever thought about photo-journalism?”

“Yes, definitely!” I grinned, trying to look like I wasn’t about to pass out.

The thing is, I hadn’t thought of it. It had never occurred to me that I could do such a thing. I could travel the world as a job, taking pictures, which I love to do.
It was a small step to self-actualization, something I first heard about in a Princess Diaries book, by Meg Cabot. The character, if you want to know, was always struggling with her identity and wrote this in, well, her diary. She never knew what she wanted to do with her life, other than being a princess, until her friends pointed out that she should write, because the fact that she was constantly writing in that damn journal!

It’s quite funny when you think about it. The things we’re greatest at and destined to be just smack us square in the face one day, and we never even see it coming. Then we wonder, how could we not have known this earlier?
Lucky for me I found out at age 15 with, cross my fingers, many years still ahead of me to perfect my newfound destiny.

What does this have to do with Maine, you ask? Well, nothing really. I just finished watching the movie Empire Falls, which was based on the book that I became bored with and never finished. It takes place in Maine. It shows, not in the main story of course, throughout the decade the destruction of beauty in this small town called, nothing other than Empire Falls. It became industrialized and conformed to the change of society.

I sometimes wish that I could go back to the beginning of the 1900’s and take pictures of what simple life used to look like. We’ve changed so much that we don’t remember beauty anymore, like trees or the woods. We’re too busy trying to build malls or more homes for the ever-growing population.

That’s why I want to be a photojournalist. To capture beauty that us humans don't always get the change to notice. And one day when that object, creature, or plant isn’t here anymore, you’ll look back and see that photo and remember a simpler time. Because as time goes by, no matter how many machines we invent, things will always get more complicated.

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