Liza AKA The Story On How to Overcome the Struggle of Being Different
We were lucky enough to get a chance to connect with one of our very own featured poets, Liza AKA The Story. She shares a captivating story about life growing up as the middle child and teaches us how to embrace the person God created each of us to be!
How was your childhood?
My childhood was very up and down. I grew up in a mixed—yet, predominantly Latino—home with two older sisters, who are seven and eight years older than me, and a baby sister, seven years my junior. Being somewhat of a middle child, it isn’t a surprise that I was always the odd one out. I was the only one who was artistic, besides dancing, and a bit dramatic. However, I felt like I had to be, dramatic that is. My older sisters were always praised for their accomplishments and my little sister was such a laidback chubby ball of cuteness that people automatically were drawn to her. So I showed out so my family would notice me. I guess in a sense I was a bit insecure of myself. The only person who I felt understood and took the time to get to know me was my aunt Mayra, my mother’s sister. She always encouraged my dreams and her presence was the most precious thing to me. However, I was nine when she passed away and, for a long time, I put my dreams on the back burner trying to coup with hard realities—a series of unfortunate events happened after. But, eventually, I picked my dreams back up when I got into my 20s.
Did you struggle with any insecurities growing up? If so, how have you overcome them or how are you dealing with them today?
Yeah, I struggled with being different, in many senses of the word. Not only was I very opposite in character compared to my family, I was also the epitome of the Ugly Duckling story. I was taller, darker and thicker than my cousins; I had kinky hair that no one knew how to care for and eyes that were way too big for my head. Thinking back on it now makes me laugh, but I truly hated being so peculiar and mismatched. Today, I walk confidently in my skin because I have learned to embrace it for what God intended it to be, beautiful. Don’t get me wrong! Confidence does not happen overnight but I started to look at things through a new perspective in order to gain it. Whenever I feel insecure, I remember to look at the world like it is a billion-piece-puzzle. Although I may be an insignificant and funny looking piece by myself, it is my very unique existence that makes me irreplaceable and, in fact, gives me purpose. Without me being me, there would be a gaping hole in the masterpiece of God’s puzzle.
When did you discover your passion for writing and poetry?
I’ve been writing since I was about eight or nine. I started poetry around the age of ten and submitted a poem about Rosa Parks to an online contest, in order to get published. I won, but I was quickly disqualified due to age restrictions.
How has being a mother changed your life? And does your daughter have an influence on your writing? For instance, did the topics you love to write about change after you became a mother?
Being a mother is quite an eye opening experience. Many emotions influence writing and Anya can move mine with just a twirl of her finger. I never left the topics I normally wrote about but, instead, I ended up with more writing material.
What are your goals for 2016? And, what can we expect from you in the future?
For me, 2016 is the year I hope to make the most growth. I am looking forward to doing lots of poetry events and hopefully some book signings once I finish one of the two books I am currently writing. I am writing more poems as we speak so I’m excited as to what amount of growth 2016 will bring me.
We are truly excited about for you, Liza! If you would like to stay updated as Liza continues her journey, follow her on Instagram: i.am.the.story.