I’M A WRITER & ENGLISH IS NOT MY FIRST LANGUAGE.

by

My first class of my final year of high school was english. I entered the room as usual, took at seat at the front like normal then noticed something unfamiliar. I wasn’t around the usual students, I was around the really smart ones, “wtf?” I thought. I took a look at my timetable and saw the letters ADV in front of my subject and went through another “wtf” moment. How did I manage to get bumped from intermediate english to advanced?

Being in a room full of the “smartest” kids in my grade meant I had to pay closer attention however, I spent most classes confused. They used words like “verbose,” “connotations” and I was intrigued by how my classmates crossed over analogies from texts they’d pulled apart, coming up with their own interpretations. “I just don’t understand,” I’d tell my english teacher in private after class, “I can’t see what everyone else sees…” Little did I know back then that everything was subject to interpretation and there were no wrong answers, the more creative you were, the better. But my creative thinking had be turned off to make way for my logical thinking.

Then we started to examine Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” which looking back, would end up being the transcript of the rest of my life, oh the irony. My classmates got it, I sort of got it but surely it wasn’t THAT easy. We were encouraged to come up with stories related back to  journeys, this was the running theme of the entire final year, “journeys.”

I remember sitting in the library with all my friends and going over and over my notes for our final exam. Someone mentioned how they were doing to talk about a journey about being a fly on the wall. I joked and said, “How does that even relate back to the exam? That means I can be a pair of Manolos in my final essay…

Yes, you can Adriana… talk about their journey…” my friend answered.

Are you joking me? This whole time I’ve been struggling to sit through every class and understand what our teacher has been saying and I could have been anything I wanted to be, including a pair of Manolos??” And just like that my final year and everything I’d been learning clicked in my head and for my finals I wrote about the journey of a pair of Manolos (thanks to my obsession with Sex and the City) and aced that exam with an overall mark of 90%. The essay part was 50% of the overall result and I got 20/20.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

I used to sit through my Society and culture classes and wonder why our world was so fucked up and how I could potentially contribute to un-fucking it. Little did I know that I would have to get myself into all sorts of fucked up situations before even figuring out how un-fuck the world around me. I wasn’t the easiest student in that class and I can’t say my teacher was too thrilled to be answering my questions. But I was very curious and I enjoyed learning about people, cultures, ways of living outside my own personal norm.

I struggled inside this class too because my brain didn’t operate the way the “system” wanted me to. I just failed to accept the injustices in the world, perhaps that’s the Aquarian in me. I don’t know who was more shocked, my teacher or I when the final results came through for the subject and in my exam I received 89%.

You’ve really surprised me Adriana,” she told me. I suppose I got it more than I thought.

It was a slight win for me because I refused to accept what I was being taught and gave my own spin on situations, my own reasoning, with solid arguments to prove that I was potentially right. I was very arrogant in my writing but I was well informed and knew how to back myself up. I knew how to sell my point of view.

It was a risky move in a school system but I didn’t care because I was already a registered Real Estate Agent by the time I left High School, I topped that class too, overall mark of 96%.

         I’ll tell you something I’ve never really told anyone before, English is not my first language, Croatian is. I struggled in school for many years because I only started learning english when I started attending school. My parents spoke Croatian at home and as much english as they knew to help but I always felt  inferior to the english language. It was really difficult for me to be confident with the english language, it brought me a lot of sadness because I never felt intelligent enough to do anything intelligent with my life. Some people can pick up that even I, still have an accent when I speak english.

It was really difficult for me to be confident with the english language, it brought me a lot of sadness because I never felt intelligent enough to do anything intelligent with my life.

Carrying this sentiment with me throughout my childhood and teens plagued me because even though I could have been better, I never felt I had the potential to be. I was always around people who were smarter than me, sometimes I understood them, other times not. When I understood them I thought my mind was playing a trick on me. It’s safe to say, my mind was playing a trick on me the entire final year of my High School because I was good enough and I did see what the smart kids saw.

I am a writer and english is not my first language.

A year ago I sat beside my gin and tonic and typed out the sentences for, “I’m not running away from myself anymore.” As my own worst critic, I never pondered on any hope that it would ever gain any traction, it was a piece for me to write and archive. A year ago I was still drinking but I was slowly awakening to the possibility that maybe my life would look different if I started to say no to my deepest addictions.

I was intoxicated as I typed the words, “I’d spent my twenties both bed- and club-hopping, wondering what it was like to feel human again, not realizing I was doing everything counterproductive to healing my inner self.” I was intoxicated as I typed the words, “My experience in an abusive relationship I call the darkest corner of my soul, my darkest decade, would haunt me and hurt me more nearing its end. Was this karma or my breakthrough moment?” I was intoxicated as I re read what I wrote, over and over again. I was intoxicated because I was still far from admitting my problems with alcohol. I was a serious functioning alcoholic fearing my words would never be read if I got sober. Let me just say I’ve never had more eye balls on my work than I do now.

I then did the scariest thing I did since emailing Ariana Huffington, I sent my drunken edit to Rebelle Society, a website that I referred to when my heart needed a re-boost. I always considered to be published on Rebelle Society as a stamp of approval for my work. Sure I could be professional for HuffPo or Elite Daily but to be raw and open, bleeding through my content and then published, that was a whole different level of recognition. I sent the email and informed them it was going to be sent through to Huffington Post as soon as possible regardless.

Within 15 minutes I had a response from the Editor-in-Chief at Rebelle Society saying that they were interested in the piece and will publish it on Monday, after that Huffington Post could have it but they wanted it first. I remember being in a writers-shock so much so that I went for a long stroll across the river in Battersea Reach to clear my head. They published it the following Monday, it was boosted on Huffington Post Women, picked up by Glamour Magazine in America and turned into a story by a magazine in Finland.

They published it the following Monday, it was boosted on Huffington Post Women, picked up by Glamour Magazine in America and turned into a story by a Finnish publication. 

When I write from my heart, I write for no one but myself. I don’t consider who I may hurt or offend, who may think lesser of me- Nobody’s feelings are factored into my work when I write. I write to those wounds that open up and say “please heal me,” I write to that part of me that never felt it was enough. I write to give my once silenced voice, a voice. I write until tears fall past my cheeks and another layer of my hate for myself is unravelled. I write for my inner child, one who was always afraid to be transparent and always shamed for sharing her truth. I write to document my progress forward, sometimes even backward. I write to inform myself that I am no longer my pain, I am no longer it’s prisoner and each word I release into the world is another step closer to freedom- But I have a very long way to go.

“When I write from my heart, I write for no one but myself.”

I was convinced by the system and my environment that my way of thinking wasn’t good enough, my train of thought would never get me anywhere yet here I am, I get paid for each word I type. I was made to feel stupid time after time because my ideas didn’t fit the norm yet here I am now, my creative thoughts pay for my living. I never imagined I’d be published on some of the world’s largest domains yet now you can Google me and read my soul.

“I never imagined I’d be published on some of the world’s largest domains yet now you can Google me and read my soul.”

This post is from me to you, the lonely child, the dreamer- I see you, I am you. You think the world around you doesn’t understand you, that’s perfectly fine, in time you’ll learn that being misunderstood is a virtue- it sets you apart from everyone else who think they are different yet they are all replicas of one another.

This one’s for you, the child with big dreams, ideas and a heart filled with gold. One that won’t allow themselves to be defined by their limitations but rather, their desire to want and seek more than what they see in front of them.

This post is for you, the one who was told you weren’t smart or good enough because you are. You are so great that those trying to bring you down in reality can’t compete with you. You don’t need other people to tell you who they think you are, you know within yourself your unlimited power and potential.

This post is for you child, sitting in class wondering if the big world out there will embrace you the way school is swallowing you, you will survive just don’t let them take that last piece of only what you see, hold it close to you and let that be your light.

This post is for you child who believes there is one way to “make it,” there isn’t. No two successes are the same and by the way, there’s no such thing as “making it.” Because even when you’ve “made it” you must already be onto the “next thing” or else you’ll suffer in limbo land. Life is about evolving, child- Life is about continuously finding the next challenge, the next mountain to climb. Also, the top is boring- the hustle is far more educating.

Reward and recognition is the price you pay for turning your back on everything but that tiny voice inside your head. No one hears this voice but you, that’s why not many people will understand what you’re working towards.

Don’t forget, I was just like you struggling with thoughts if I’ll ever amount to anything and here I am, a writer & english was not my first language.

 

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9 Responses
  • Chris
    June 27, 2017

    It’s amazing what we’re capable of when we’re given the chance to succeed.

  • K Stewart
    June 27, 2017

    Awesome! Love your writing and positivity! I agree, if we don’t give up, we can get what we’re looking for. Pretty rough sometimes though…

  • Illi
    June 27, 2017

    “Writing is a vulnerable act.” Therefore what greater act of defiance in a dangerous world than to expose your thoughts, experiences, and feelings than to put them to words, in whatever manner you may feel!

  • Marcia
    June 27, 2017

    I reflected on this earlier today and thought about you, Successful people use their resources not excuses.

    You are a success Adriana, congratulations on everything you’ve achieved this past year, it has been fascinating watching you transform. Much love, from NYC

    • Adriana Kuprešak
      June 28, 2017

      Marcia, Thank you for your kind words.
      Give the NYC sky a big kiss for me ❤️

  • Alberto
    August 2, 2017

    So what is your first language?

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