Christian BestRobert ArnoldUWRT 110110 September 2015Literacy NarrativeWhen an individual thinks about what it means to be literate, they automatically think about being able to read and write. That isnt a completely wrong assumption. Being able to read and write does classify a person as literate. But there is also another form of being literate. Becoming literate in a subject can also mean becoming knowledgeable and educated in a particular subject. If a person doesnt have any hobbies, doesnt participate in any sports, and really doesnt get involved in many extracurricular activities, what subject can they possibly become literate in? Being that I am that person, I can tell you: that person becomes literate in ones self. Becoming literate in ones self sounds like an easy task but it can be quite a strenuous journey. Its not a journey that everyone embarks on because its not just about knowing your own background and history. Becoming literate in yourself is about getting to know yourself, learning to be confident, and believing that you can take on the journey of life no matter how hard it gets. Everyone doesnt have the strength to do these things. Some individuals never learn who they truly are, inside and out. It takes time, facing the truth, and having faith to really discover yourself. And thats exactly what it took for me.I should first begin by explaining the person I was before explaining the person I became. Growing up I was a quiet child that never caused trouble. Picture a little girl with lots of hair bows and ponytails. This little girl would wake up every morning, grab her pacifier, watch a couple episodes of Dora the Explorer, and go hide in the kitchen cabinet until her mom came and found her. That little girl was who I was, I was extremely quiet and shy. My mother and Dora the Explorer were the only two people I felt comfortable talking to. I rarely spoke to my dad and older brother, even though we all resided together. That shy and quiet little kid grew into a very shy and emotionally detached teenager.My teenage years were the most difficult for me. My major problem was dealing with my emotions, or lack thereof, and the fact that I enjoyed being alone. Whenever I tell people I was emotionally detached they usually jump to the conclusion that I was depressed and sad, but that wasnt the case at all. I wasnt depressed or lonely, I was just very nonchalant and very bad at forming emotional connections with people. You know how some men tell their sons that it is considered weak to cry and show people your emotional side? That was very similar to my own personal mindset. I felt when people publicly showed their emotions, they exposed themselves and showed themselves as weak. Therefore showing emotions, feeling empathy, and having sympathy were completely forbidden for me. Having this mindset made forming friendships and relationships really difficult.Because I couldnt naturally form friendships with people, I began forcing friendships into place. This took place during middle school, this was the point where I really lost touch with who I was. I kept conforming to fit in with the crowd. If everyone was wearing a certain brand, I had that exact same brand. If everyone was making fun of a certain person, I was right behind them laughing. I knew my actions werent always right but I desired to be accepted. I thought I needed to be loved by these people because I thought they were my friends. I quickly learned the difference between friends and social associates around December of 2010. The process of learning who I was and who I wanted to become began after that December. December 11, 2010 is the day my mother told me my grandfather had died. Have you ever had your feelings hurt? Have you ever been punched so hard that it felt like your breath has exited your body? You ever stubbed your toe and you felt really angry? You ever felt really frustrated because you couldnt have something that you wanted so desperately? That hurt, that breathlessness, that anger, that frustration, that is every emotion that coursed through me when I heard those words, your grandfather just died. My grandfather was more than just a grandfather to me. My grandfather was my motivation, my encouragement, my reason to keep going, my heart, he became everything to me. My grandfather was the first man I ever loved and trusted. I never imagined I would live in a world without him. He is the reason I stand on the ground of a college university today. He kept me striving in school and in life. He taught me that it was okay to have goals and to reach those goals. Losing him made me feel like my world was crashing around me and I just had to stand and watch it crumble at my feet. At this point I felt I needed a shoulder to cry on, so I turned to my friends. Except my friends werent there for me. The one moment, actually the only moment, I needed them they left me to deal with life alone. Thats the moment I realized that maybe I was better off alone and the process began.I have a big heart. I am very caring. I live to help other people. I am terribly wise for my age. I am overly emotional. I am extremely corny and silly. I am terribly clumsy and a potential hazard to myself. I have the most obnoxious laugh and I usually laugh in the most inappropriate moments. I believe hugs can fix everything even though I still guard my heart from the outside world. I can be very annoying but also easily annoyed. Im very sweet until someone makes me mad. Now you must wonder how I can easily recall these major characteristics. Alone time is the answer. When I say alone Im not referring to the padded-white cell, solitary alone. Im referring to the alone time that makes an individual become in tune with their mind, body, and soul. Imagine a 95 pound, 13 year old girl in khakis with a very bushy ponytail. That girl never went out of her way to talk to other people but she was still a friendly person. She would spend most of her time getting lost in a book. She started spending all of her extra school time in the library, just so she wouldnt have to interact with other people. She would blast music through her headphones at any given moment of the day. Loner, hermit, lone wolf, reclusive, that became her new identity, meaning that became my new identity.I fell in love with that new identity because it made me fall in love with the person I was. I loved being alone. Being alone taught me to make decisions on my own. It also became the moment in the day where I would think, reflect, and evaluate. Whether I was thinking about my day, the personality of a new character in a novel, or if I was inventing fantasy scenarios in my mind, my alone time became my favorite time of the day. Within those hours of the day, listening to music, reading books, and dancing in circles in the middle of my bedroom floor is how I learned who I was. Reading about how Percy Jackson could learn to love and forgive a Greek God, who was also his father that he had never met, made me realize that I was compassionate and sympathetic. Listening to India Arie sing about not shaving her legs and remembering to love herself no matter what, made me realize that I still love myself whether or not I have the acceptance of others. Trying to match the lyrics and aggression of Kayne West yelling about how he is a monster, made me realize that I am definitely not meant to be a rapper. Choreographing my own personal dance while Destinys Child pants and screams about losing their breath, made me realize that I have the worst coordination and I possess no rhythm at all. Dreaming and fantasizing about coming home to a husband, three very cheerful children, and living in an insanely beautiful house, made me realize that one day I did want to experience being in love and sharing a life with someone special. Being alone wasnt depressing and sad, being alone was never lonely, being alone was therapeutic, amazing, and the absolute best thing I could have ever learned to do.