“Where I’m From” By Mariyah Braggs (Grade 12)

Unconditionally, Me

I’m from a place not so serene. Brusque winds and brisk weather, with hints of family for warmth. Get-togethers and traditions are just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m from an adventurous childhood. Springing up from a frail and flawed newborn, to a spunky and eager little girl. Straying away from the “norm” of girl activities, I always preferred to run about on the recess grounds, experimenting on the monkey bars. Coming home with painful calluses and tired limbs. 

I’m from car rides and exploration. Getting thrills every time we went to McDonald’s, and always asking for a “boy-toy,” since the girl toys were always boring and mediocre to me. Caught up in my own world with my cartoons and snacks. It was pure fun. Not a care in the world.

I’m from a unique family. Blurs of family get-togethers in my mind, with clarity of the time spent with those still close to me today. Birthdays and christmas, two of my favorite times of the year. Abundant feasts and laughs all around the house. The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg permeating every room.

I’m from the impact of music. A time machine. I remember dancing in my diaper at 2 years old in the house. I had no clue what the song was or what the lyrics truly meant, but I sure was enjoying myself. Songs that are relatively random to most, but important to me. Songs that put me right back in the place I was when first listening to it. Songs that make me remember so much.

I’m from an array of family hardships. An entire spectrum of remembrances of the different states and schools I’ve experienced. Loss and grief are of no foreign feeling to me. All hitting each of us differently, but also in the same way. It defines us, but in the strongest way possible. 

I’m from a rose. Starting with a stem, the foundations of my childhood. Then, out grows thorns, hardships trying to take me down. However, then comes the beautiful and vibrant rose. A beautiful aftermath being produced from the darkest and most painful of times.

I’m from an unorthodox place. Surrounded with lots of love, in a cold winter storm. Built from a flexible material, constantly having to adapt to my uncharted surroundings. From dusk and dawn, highs and lows, hardships thick and thin, and a canvas painted with the wonders of the world. 

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