by Nadia Villanueva
From: Cultural Weekly; Tomorrow’s Voices Today
Nadia Villanueva is a young aspiring journalist and writer. She is a full-time college student in the process of gaining her BA in Journalism. She hopes to work for a major newspaper or magazine in the future but for now works locally on school newspapers. On her free time, she writes her own personal essays, poems, and short stories.
When I was five they told me I could be whatever I wanted so I said I’d be a princess.
I found the idea of a castle, fancy dress, and handsome prince impressive.
Disney sold me the idea that you weren’t happy till you had this.
So in my mind this was my future,
But when I was seven my teacher had a meeting with my mother.
Told my mom I was above average, there was great potential for my future.
So he had me enrolled in gifted courses, where I was surrounded by little prodigies,
I’ll be forever thankful for my teacher, the first person who ever saw potential, said I could be somebody.
After that I started to think bigger.
Bigger dreams, bigger goals. Maybe I’ll be a doctor.
I didn’t put so much importance in beauty and fancy dresses anymore,
My main focus became education – I was seven but I knew I wanted more,
I wanted all the opportunities education could give to me,
Test my intelligence to the best of its ability.
I liked the feelings that I had endless possibilities.
I could do whatever I wanted because I knew I had it in me.
I’d get excited over lessons; every time I learned something knew.
I used to ask my teachers for extra homework; I always wanted to have more to do.
I grew older, grew more determined.
The destination slightly changed but my goal remained certain.
Sometimes I lost my focus—growing up rough can do that—
But I always found my way back, my feelings to succeed ran deep.
I felt it in my bones, in my heart; shit, it flowed through my bloodstream,
I want this more than anything.