There are two activities that I enjoy that always bring me joy; reading and writing. There is nothing that soothes my soul more than a good book, a scrap of paper and a pen or pencil. No matter what event I am attending my bag or purse must have paper, pen, and some form of reading material whether it is printed or digital. I read and write daily no matter where I am or what I am doing. Most of my family and friends do not comprehend my fascination with reading and writing with many thinking of these hobbies of mine as chores. Reading and writing became my favourite pastimes by way of necessity both subjects have provided me with an escape as well as a tool that can never be taken away from me.
English is not my first language, it’s not even my second language. I taught myself how to speak and ready English at age seven by reading and writing. My parents were Haitian immigrants living in The Bahamas and they only spoke enough English that would allow them to work and to ask basic questions around the community. Haitian kreyol was spoken at home and church services were conducted mainly in French, however, the language of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is English and in order for me to speak to my friends at school and around the neighbourhood I had to learn English. English as a second language or “ESL” as it is commonly known was not offered at any of our schools and so it was left up to me to learn the language on my own and so books became my teacher. The first book I read was Oliver Twist and it remains one of my favourites. Most of the time I had no idea what I was reading so I read it again and again and again until I was able to read it aloud pronouncing every word correctly without fear. After I was done with that book, I read another one and another until books became my only companions out of necessity.
While reading became my companion, writing became my escape. During my childhood we lived in very rough neighbourhoods and being a Haitian immigrant family made everything worse. Playing outside was limited due to crime and so I turned to writing. Writing allowed me to create my own world where I fit in with the other kids and I wasn’t an immigrant. It allowed me to create an atmosphere that was healthy for me and where I was allowed to voice my opinion without fear or rebuke. Writing allowed me to think and to share my thoughts about world issues. Writing also allowed me to be who I really wanted to be. Writing gave me a voice. When I started my blog it was because I saw a void that needed to be filled. Others were writing but were afraid to touch on certain subjects and it was difficult to find blogs that dealt with certain issues such as spirituality and healthy relationships. I saw the need and instead of complaining I decided to do something about it. I started writing.
Writing and reading are two things that can never be taken away from me. They are tools that will always help me no matter where I go or what I do. I can use my reading and writing skills to help others who are not as fortunate as myself. These tools also mean that I can sharpen my skills and pass them on to others. My dad always taught me that I will learn more by helping others and it is because of that I have signed on to become a reading tutor.
I know that it will be challenging but when I remember all the obstacles that I faced because I could not read or write especially in English it gives me the motivation needed to pass the tools along. As a reading tutor I know that it will be challenging but I also know that it will be rewarding as well. If you have a passion or hobby that you really enjoy I think that you will enjoy them even more if you share them with others.