I have seen the best of you, and the worst of you, and I choose both.
At this point in my life - age 24 - I have chosen a fairly strange path that not many are walking. I am a professional spoken word poet who tours the world performing and teaching. I run an organization called Project VOICE dedicated to using this art form as an education and empowerment tool in schools and communities of all kinds.
Spoken word poetry is the art of performance poetry. I tell people it involves creating poetry that doesn't just want to sit on paper, that something about it demands it be heard out loud or witnessed in person.
Most days it feels as if the world is whirling around me and I am standing still. In slow motion, I watch the colors blur; people and faces all become a massive wash.
My first spoken word poem, packed with all the wisdom of a 14-year-old, was about the injustice of being seen as unfeminine. The poem was very indignant, and mainly exaggerated, but the only spoken word poetry that I had seen up until that point was mainly indignant, so I thought that that's what was expected of me.
When I hear other people's stories, I like to believe that they contribute to my 'Encyclopedia of Human Experience.' The stories I hear help me expand my definition of what love is, what pain feels like, what sacrifice means, what laughter can do.