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I had decided to take a creative writing class at the local community college.

I shuffled in nervous, looking around the room, assessing everyones age and realizing I was the only person in my mid-twenties.

I took a seat next to some unenthusiastic student. Taking this class to fill credit hours.

I wondered how he could look so bored already?

I was excited to be here.

Reading and someone giving me the opportunity to write? that sounded like a vacation.

Our first assignment was to write a poem about something that was important to us.

I remember I wrote about my future. The ever changing pathways.

I didn’t think anyone would read it besides the teacher and myself.

Little did I know I was wrong.

On the second day of class our poems were projected onto a screen for everyone to see.

Once the first poem went up — my heart started to race..

My writing is like a piece of my soul

It is personal.

Raw.

Dark.

I had never really exposed anyone to it.

The second poem went up

it seemed like everyone but me knew this was going to happen.

Poems about dogs,

and friends,

nature,

and then mine went up.

I felt an uneasy silence throughout the whole room.

The teacher briefly read through it, commenting on the structure..

and taking a few to many seconds to stare at me.

That was my first public display of work.

I will never forget it.

It was as if I was standing naked in a room full of strangers. As they read my thoughts out loud.