Ever since I was old enough to understand the difference between fantasy and reality, reading and writing became some sort of an escape from the world around me. I was always fascinated by the alphabet. I could never get enough of the flash cards and the sound making to form the words that would eventually bring me a sense of peace in times of discomfort or confusion. It's almost as if my mother knew I would have such a passion for reading and writing. She started me off at three years old, explaining what it actually was to read and write and how to apply it to my life. I took everything I was taught as a way to express myself and to explore my imagination. The good days, I didn't spend much time imagining. It was the bad days that I sat down and opened a book or wrote a poem or short story. Everything I wrote, I applied to my life but created a world away from reality. To me reading and writing is a way of freedom. I have relied on a pen and pencil to not only free myself of whatever is bothering me at the time but to connect with myself in ways that can't be reached without reading and writing. I'm the person I am today because I can express my thoughts and emotions in way much different than my peers. In a way, to read and to write is sanity.