Draft's Picks

Monique M. - "The Blind Side" Miami

Living a life of child abuse was not easy. Dwelling in a house where illegal substances reigned, and where homework was ripped to shreds truly molded my character. Sleeping in a bathtub, which was my bed for about ten years, was certainly an experience I wouldn't wish upon anyone; as well as the heartache of being prohibited from communicating with my inspiration- my little sister. I was forced to grow up early, where I had to accept that my parents were both addicted to cocaine and that my beatings were inevitable. I had to face life and set an example for my sister of what it is like to be strong and have faith in something bigger than oneself. My whole life I lived in a house where I was forced to gaze into eyes of hatred day by day, even being at knife point; thrice.

Watching "The Blind Side" truly impacted my life. It was an intense reminder that it takes courage and ardor to face something that is beyond your control. It awakened me to see that it takes more to walk away from something you love, like Mike did from his mom several times, than to stay and tolerate it. As Michael timidly strolled into school his first morning, the verse Matthew 19:26 welcomed him by reading "with men this is possible, with God all things are possible." This was a constant reminder throughout the film that there are no boundaries as to where you as a person can reach, no matter the circumstances. It also showed me that sometimes making decisions, such as walking away from your comfort zone, just like Oher did from his "hood," streamed back memories of the following three digits.

Nine. One.One. The toughest numbers I have ever had to dial. Ruminating over the spectrum of repercussions, jamborees of emotions digress through my body as I question the very decision I had made by contacting the authorities that night on my mother.

It was a night of betrayal, blood, and pride. One of many nights I though my life would end, regardless of my faith and ambitions. A night where my sister's life was on the line; as well as my existence. My mom had drunk that Christmas Eve, and heard my sister and I whispering in the room to one another. She tossed her treasured snow globe at my head, as she bit my ear. Infuriated with the fact that my sister and I had communicated with each other, she ripped the clothes off my very body as she went to disconnect all the phone lines of the house. She dismantled the closets, and made my sister barricade under the bed.

This was the moment. The moment of grasping the 1998 Nokia cell phone I had charged under my sister's bed for several years to make this move- at this one moment. The one moment I had never gained the courage to execute. For this one moment, I stood still and traveled all the possible scenarios of my future as a family. Even though I had the strength to know that it would have all been for the better of my sister, mother, and I; I continued timid.
All these thoughts in zero point two seconds. There were grand possibilities of my mom going to jail, rehab, maybe resulting in me never seeing her again. But that is not what I wanted.
Everyday I wake up and attempt to look in her eyes. "I have hope in her, and faith that one day she'd love me. Faith that one day she'd see beauty in me. That one day she'd find the heart and approach the daughter she never really met, nor knew she had; for I still had an unlocked heart and open arms. I had prepared for that day. I had blue prints of that day," rambled my conscience.

All this with those three numbers, the three numbers that changed my life. RING...RING.. "911. What is your emergency?" inquired the operator.

"My future," I replied.

My mom was sent to rehab, as I resided with long lost 'family members'. Six months ago, my mom came back anew.
This is where I developed my fervor to write. It is now a profound passion, a passion where words will bring paper to life, and life to others, as they reach for it. Now I am Editor of the school paper, and literary magazine, along with holding the position of President of the National English Honor Society. Just like Michael pursued football, through faith and strength I continue to pursue journalism.

This movie undeniably showed me both spectrums; the blessings of needing help like Michael, and then being given the privilege to provide it like Mrs. Leigh Anne Tuohy. This feature film showcased an array of characteristics such as respect, unconditional love, ardor, grace, courage, strength. and faith; helping one see that anyone can do anything if they indubitably believe. What most do not know is that falling is the beauty of getting back up; stumbling is the splendor of strength, while destruction is the inspiration for construction. It is not without the rain that we get to appreciate the scorch of the sun.

As I watched the movie, I compared my life to Mike's and reached a place in my heart of mere joy. A joy of seeing skies set and rise. A joy of experiencing a breakthrough. A joy of feeling the purest and most arduous emotion out there: love. So when people ask me where I've been, I tell them where I'm going.