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I remember wanting to be just like her. I was about 6 yrs. old walking around the house believing that I sounded like her. I was going to grow up and be a famous singer like Whitney Houston. However, I didn’t participate in the choir or enter into any singing competitions. Eventually, I was told I could sing a “little” but my older sister could sing better. As I got older I was told I could sing “ok” but my younger sister could sing way better. So singing no longer was my thing. When my Dad use to visit he’d  take us on long walks or long drives. On the drives he would play Barry White. Even now when I hear a Barry White song I think of him not about getting in the mood. Sometimes he’d say nothing and sometimes he’d give us long lectures about life on our travels. “Don’t get married until you’re 40.” “Don’t expect a man to pay for everything. Pay sometimes too.” “Get your own house so when a man messes up you can kick him out your house!” I was a pre-teen and I believe it was on the 4th of July that my Dad walked my siblings and basketballme over to a nearby school. We had a basketball and were going to play a little. Months before my Mom’s friend taught me how to shoot a basketball and I began to really like playing basketball. I guess I was pretty confident in my skills because I recall wanting to impress my Dad. So my little sister and I began to shoot hoops and block each other. As my Dad watched he said to me,” …you should play basketball because you’re tall.” To my sister he says, “…you should play basketball because you’re good.” This crushed any interest I had at wanting to play basketball. I decided then and there I would never play. Of course thinking on it as I got older I was silly to let a comment like that keep me from doing something I enjoyed. After all I could have played in Jr High, High School and got a scholarship to college.

The first time I remember doing creative writing was for an assignment in the 4th grade. The assignment consisted of writing different types of poems; haiku’s, sonnets, limerick etc. I not only had to write them I had to put a picture with each one as well. I remember getting back my assignment and my Teacher telling me that he wanted me to be in an assembly and read one of the poems I wrote. Now I was beyond a shy kid at this point. I was raised to be seen and not heard. The only people I felt comfortable being myself around were my friends. To be honest, I don’t ever recall if I ever read that poem in front of my peers at the assembly. I would assume I didn’t because that would have been a pivotal moment in my life. The thing about my memory is I either remember it or I don’t. I rarely ever remember pieces. There are things in my life that have occurred that I would rather forget.

Over the years I’ve written when I’ve fallen in love and when my heart was broken into pieces. I’ladyve written when I was inspired by the WORD and when I felt empty. And there’s even been times growing up that just like with singing or basketball I was told,…”your brother writes better than you.” or “…your sister write better than you.” Yet, this is the one thing that I love to do whether I’m good at it or not. Whether anyone reads it, comments or cares about what I have to say. I simply love to write. Because this is me. This is JustTree.

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