Oh the soul that wanders in the cold!
Forever trapped in winter snow
The bitter light is growing old.
Walking, walking, in eternal snow.
Walking in winter.
There is no light
In the bitterest cold
An endless, starless night
An eternal black hole
Trapping my haunted Winter Soul.
Hey there readers I have some shocking news to tell you. Honestly it's not that old, only something I HAVEN'T been telling you. It's kind of a lie, but kind of not. More like a mask, a mask I'm sick and tired of wearing. It's really the reason I haven't been blogging so much. I hate this mask. I don't want to wear it anymore.
To really understand this story I need to take you back about ten years. Imagine a little girl. This little girl has bright red hair, loads of freckles, blue eyes and is really unsure of herself. She's not exactly popular, in fact she's really ignored, left behind, shoved to the sidelines.
This girl has tried to fit in, she was once friends with the "in girls" but somehow they drifted apart. No longer friends she watches as they go to parties, share clothing and hand out pieces of gum to everyone except for her. She can distinctly remember a time when someone peeked his head into the classroom and looked at the "in girls."
"They're all wearing red!" he says, then his eyes fall on the girl. "Except for her, she didn't get the memo, did she?"
This little girl goes home and cries often.
This little girl struggles to make herself like them. She doesn't feel that she's good enough, she's too fat, her hair is too red, she doesn't like what they do, but she can't force herself to. No matter what she does she can't make herself seen.
She begins to see colors, like a box of crayons. Everyone else is vibrant hues of the most beautiful greens, blues, pinks, yellows, and black. All the colors people use when drawing. The little girl feels as if she is the last crayon taken out of the crayon box, or taken out first and quickly forgotten. She feels like she's a white crayon. No one wants to use a white crayon, it's the last one to loose its point, the first one to be tossed aside. No one uses it much because it won't show it. It colors the color "Completely Invisible."
The little girl feels as if she is this crayon color, "Completely Invisible" and it's hard not to when everyone else is seen and she isn't. When she tries to make herself seen people stare, then rapidly leave, or she feels unnatural like she's stepping too far from her color. The "white crayon" wins every battle. She remains invisible.
Then one day the girl realizes she has a power. She can write and by writing she releases every ounce of ugliness inside of her, but she still isn't see, so she figures that she can't be herself, she has to hide so no one knows that the white crayon is trying to be seen.
This little girl gives herself a pen name.
And that pen name is Tayla Durham.
But she still isn't seen.
So if you're following along in the story you've realized that the little girl is me. I can't tell you how many times I felt like I was shoved into a corner and forgotten. I was a white crayon. I went home and cried more times than I can count. The story covers about ten years of my life and I'll be honest, the story is ending there.
Here's the truth, my name isn't Tayla Durham. You can't even spell that out of the letters of my real name. I came up with that pen name after I wrote my first book The Kelpie's Grim, Forgotten, it just seemed natural to toss aside my real name and pin a name that didn't belong to anyone to it. Tayla Durham was born.
It was fun at first, pretending to be Tayla. It was like a fresh slate, none of me involved with that name. Tayla was someone completely new. That's why I introduced myself in this blog as Tayla. I was someone new, I could start over blaring my colors, but the truth is, I was really trying to hide the white crayon. I'm tired of hiding.
It's not fun anymore.
Eventually "Tayla" turned into a mask. I spent so much time underneath it that when someone called me by my real name, it was weird, like "who is that? Only Tayla is here."
I grimace now, just looking at the name. It came from a girl I met at Oakcrest who's name was Tayla, I liked the name and the girl wasn't a white crayon like I was. Durham came from a book, not sure which the only one that comes to mind is from the Thoroughbred series by Joanne Campell. one of the character's (Melanie) last name was Graham, and I guess that's where I got Durham from.
At first I didn't use the name at all. It was this fancy thing that I could toss around like "they'll be so happy when they learn Tayla Durham used this to write her book, lalala!" It was like I was talking about a different person. Then I tried to become Tayla. I liked it at first, I went to institute and there was a person there who had a name similar to my real one and the teacher (awesome guy ;D) couldn't tell our names apart. I snapped and said, "Just call me, Tayla. It's my pen name."
And people forgot my real one.
Even here I was faking me. All of the problems and struggles I've written on this blog were real, Tayla is not. Tayla is a mask, a cloak, my hiding place. I'm not hiding anymore.
Here's the truth.
I am not "Tayla Durham"
My name is Kristen Cox.
No, this isn't another hoax. My name really is Kristen and I'll tell you, it's a relief to say this. I'm tired of being called Tayla. It's like the nickname you loath after you outgrow it. I guess that's it then, I've outgrown Tayla. I've outgrown the stupid idea that I could become someone else. I am me. That's all ever want to be, all I ever need to be. Me. Me. Me. Kristen.
I am not a white crayon anymore, in fact if I had to pick a color I'd say that I'm a mahogany red crayon. A color that you have to see. I don't hide in corners anymore, I don't try not to be seen. I don't try to be a paper cutout of everyone else. I am my own original. That's really why I'm letting Tayla go, I don't need her anymore. I don't have to hide behind a flimsy paper cutout because I have discovered myself.
Now you can go on and call me a liar, I guess I am. I should have told the truth about me, but I wasn't ready. I am a liar to myself for thinking that I could ever grow out of me. I'm letting this go because I need to move on with the rest of my life. Tayla will not be moving on with me. She's like an old loved shirt I don't need to wear anymore. Where I'll go from here, I'm not really sure, but it is a relief to let this go. I've been debating this post for quite a while and now that I'm writing it a heavy load has been lifted from my shoulders. I can now introduce myself completely and wholly as me.
And I suppose I need to do that now, introduce me.
Hi, my name is Kristen Cox. I am the eighteen-year-old author of Winter Soul, coming out on March 16th of this year. I am a bright red crayon you can't miss. I am happy with what I do and more importantly I am happy with me, there isn't a thing about myself that I would change. My name is Kristen Cox and I am not hiding anymore.
Goodbye, Tayla Durham, you can lay to rest with all the other insecurities that have plagued me for my teenage years. I don't need you anymore. I don't want you anymore. Rest in peace, you served me well.