Dear Maya Angelou,
The bell rings, class is over, and now it's show time. I pick up my bags and walk out of class. Head held high and a mile long smile across my face. Shoulders raised, back straight, taking long graceful strides. You can feel and see the confidence I have in myself. Confidence, though, was something I once lacked, until I read your poem "Still I Rise."
Drama, lies, and tears; it's just those teenage years. Throughout my school years I was teased and talked about. Slowly, but surely I lost all confidence in myself. I dreaded going to school. Fear kept me in bed. The fear of what my peers would say about me next. I tried hard to be the "it" girl, so their harsh words would stop. I actually tried to change myself for others. I stopped being the girl that I loved, and my family loved, all because of a few harsh words and still nothing seemed to work, then one day in class I was given an assignment
I was told to write a speech on you, Maya Angelou. I had never heard of you before that day. While researching I stumbJed across the poem "Still I Rise". I was excited to learn you were a poet, something I wanted to be. With every word I read, the smile on my face grew and I sat up more in my seat I felt that this poem was written for me. "You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I'll rise." I said out loud.
After reading that poem, I changed. Not all at once but gradually. Once a timid caterpillar, I was now becoming a beautiful monarch butterfly. The cruel words and thoughts of other people no longer hurt me, in fact they made me smile, because as they taunted and teased me all I could hear was "I rise, I rise, I rise." No more do I long for my peer's approval; it's no longer needed nor was it ever needed. I am done changing myself to fit in. Now I'd much rather be myself and stand out. I dress how I want, talk how I want, and act how I want I decided that I need to be myself, the person I love to be, because if I don't who will?
I continue down the hail. I wave to the familiar faces and unfamiliar smiling faces too. The second bell rings I turn the cold door handle and walk into class. Everyone looks as they hear the door open. My smile grows. I wave to everyone and head to my seat. I sit up straight, get out my books, cross my legs and begin to read, with my smile never leaving my face. My confidence has returned, and isn't going to leave me again. "Up from a past that's rooted in pain, I rise." Thank you, Maya Angelou.