Finding Her Light

Kianny considers her way with words to be a gift. She is okay if she does not write, but she is happy when she does. Curiously enough, she discovered her gift by cheating. Literally. The story goes as follows:

“I was taking Business Administration when I as doing my Associate’s. Why? Because I didn’t have to take Biology. No, but that’s not the cheating part, hold on. So while doing my Associate’s I heard ‘Do you know that if you take Spanish class, [because you speak Spanish] and you don’t need it, they give you up to 9 credits?’ And I was like ‘Oh my god, I’m gonna do that! Lets do it!’ . I didn’t even know you could take Spanish. I was so immersed in learning English that I had no idea that you could take classes in Spanish or that there was such as thing as a career in Spanish or teaching Spanish as a career. Seriously! I didn’t know. So I went to the department and they said ‘You have to take an exam’ and I said ‘Okay, give me the exam.’ They gave me the exam, but they left me alone. [laughs] I had this tiny dictionary with me. Ok, its like half cheating because I did everything that I had to do but I just reviewed with the dictionary. Things such as ‘Is this with ‘B’ or ‘V’? Is this with ‘C’ or ‘S.’  I ended up in Literature! I didn’t have to go to grammar classes; even though I didn’t know how to put an accent.”

Kianny tells the story with pride. Not because she is proud of cheating but rather because if that had not happened, she would not have found Literature. She would not have found herself.  The Literature class opened her world. Prior to it, she was not aware that it was possible to write short stories. She was familiar with novels such as Don Quixote but had not experienced the power of words that could be put into 2, 3 or even 7 pages. She recalls reading Gabriel García Márquez, Julio Cortázar, and Elena Poniatowska among others. After reading a couple of stories, she decided to give it a try. She got the urge and wrote a story.

“It was such a bad story. It was called ‘Hastío.’ It was because I liked this old song called ‘Hastío.’ And the lady at the end, she’s listening to this song and she kills herself. It’s so dramatic. But I showed it to my teacher, to my professor. And she said, ‘I see something here. You should keep writing.’ Oh my god, why did she say that? Oh my god. I haven’t stopped.”

Kianny continued writing and went on to major in Spanish when she received her Bachelor’s Degree. To be more precise, she credits the story Cambio de luces/Change of Lights by Julio Cortázar with changing her life. And that’s not an exaggeration. The story was so well written that it transformed her way of thinking and provided her with the passion that she still possesses to this day.

Next Section: Owning Her Writing