So, as I mentioned in a earlier post, I was going to give a speech at my daughter’s school to discuss what it’s like to be an author.
At first, I was going to write a speech, which I had brooded over for days trying to think what to say to second graders. But then I had to take a moment and tell myself that I’m not a planned writer—I just go with the flow.
Then, I decided to just wing it, well I did have index cards, but just to stir some ideas—get the creative juice flowing. The presentation was set for June 11th at 12:30. I arrived at P.S. 86 with my mother, my husband, my sister, and my other two children (my support group).
I met with the assistant principal, and she showed me the poster they had created for me to sign which will be hung in the library. I was asked to dedicate a quote to the students, which I had given: Nothing is impossible; all you have to do is want it. This quote is a rendition of my favorite quote told to me by someone very special.
“Todo es possible, lo unico que falta es quierelo”
The quote was first told to me by my husband, which I had never forgotten and probably never will. This quote inspired me to take risks and move forward in my life. To be attending school full-time, be a stay at home mom, pregnant, and finally publishing my book. My husband showed me how strong this quote is, that I had to pass it on any opportunity I was given.
After introducing myself to the students, I opened my speech with:
“I want you guys to take a moment and think about something you love. It could be anything: a parent, music, a video game anything you love…Do you see how you feel? That is how I feel about writing.
I tried to make it interactive by asking questions such as, “Does anyone know what writer’s block is?”
Overall, my message to the kids was about pursuing their dreams. To find something that makes them truly happy and to not be so focused on money, because at the end of their life they should want to be happy with the life they had led. To not let anyone tell them that it is impossible to carry out their dreams. I told them there will be obstacles; people for fear of their own limitations will try to project it on them. I told them that being happy in what you do is the utmost important thing, because a career is something you’ll do every day for the rest of the time you are allowed. You need to be able to wake up every day looking forward to doing what you chose as a career for yourself. You can have a career that could make you a lot of money, but if every morning you wake up and say, “Oh God, I hate this job!” It is not worth it– at all. I told them that we often look for happiness in others or in objects, but that true happiness really comes from within.
I remember being in elementary school, junior high, and high school being in the auditorium hearing a speech about a person whose accomplished things, but I always felt unsatisfied, because they all always gave the same speech—follow your dream. There was nothing else, no other connection to following ones dream, nothing about obstacles or challenges faced. I had always said if I had ever had the opportunity to speak to kids that I would do my best to give them better advice than just follow your dreams. I hope that I did a good job and left the kids feeling satisfied and hopeful of going after things that make them truly happy.
I read Briann & the Castle that I had made for that day. What surprised me was that I read it and well I guess you can say acted out the character’s voice. I never saw myself doing something like that, I easily feel awkward doing certain things. But, as I read my story I became comfortable, just seeing their faces how interested they were in my story helped me make it more magical—that my human abilities could allow. As I was reaching near the end of my story I knew that I still would have some time left. Things were going so well and I thought, “What the hell am I going to do now?” but then I thought to myself, kids love to ask questions. So after I finished, and they clapped I told them that I would answer any questions they may have.
I loved how eager they were. Here’s a few questions they asked me:
What do you do when you’re bored?
What is it about writing that makes you happy?
Do you love chocolate?
Is it hard being an author?
Did you draw the cover of your book?
How do you pick the titles?
How long did it take for you to finish writing your book?
Very smart second graders!
I had a great time and enjoyed talking to the kids.
Afterwards, I was invited to my daughter’s classroom where the teacher had the kids write and draw what they wanted to be when they grew up. As I watched them feverishly draw and write, I asked the teacher if it would be okay if I signed their papers—you know practice for the big leagues haha (fingers crossed) It felt amazing to sign my autograph and I was left imagining what it would be like to sign my books to my readers…
I spoke to the principal and they would love for me to come every year especially for the graduating class. She even mentioned setting up a parent workshop to help inspire parents to encourage their children to write. I am more than willing to do it, can’t wait til September.
I am lucky to have amazing support from family and friends. A mother that has always guided me into the right direction. Always told me to do for myself and move forward. I have incredible friends who have been with me on my journey and have seen me grow, and continue on my path with me. I have a husband that supports me and has inspired me since the day we spoke to each other. As for myself, I hope to inspire my kids that no matter what decision they make in life it is never the end of the road unless they want it to be. It is never late to change your life. I will say to them as it was said to me:
“Todo es posible, lo único que falta es quierelo”
So I pass onto you: Nothing is impossible, all you have to do is want it…
If you want to see more pictures of my speech go to: facebook.com/NicolasElizarose