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Monday, September 20, 2021

I am a writer

Accepting the undeniable truth 

By Itzelth Gamboa, Arts and Culture Writer 

There is something about writing that is so painfully terrifying. Maybe it’s because we are taught with words written by grand people who actually had a story to tell. Or maybe it’s because words can be so easily misinterpreted. Or maybe, it’s because I’m so terrible at it. 

When I first joined The Aggie, I was severely underqualified. I was a second-year trying to find something to do that held significance. So I looked for an organization that involved the thing I loved most—writing. Before I was a student at Davis, I invested myself in everything I wrote; writing always had a way of comforting me. But to my surprise, my writing had failed me all of my undergraduate career up to that point. I was getting low B’s on every essay I turned in and it was killing me; my saving grace throughout my life was hurting my GPA.

So I joined The Aggie in hopes of meeting new people and bettering my writing. I didn’t realize that as I was working on my writing, I was piling up these great experiences along the way. 

There are two things that being a writer for the Arts Desk has shown me: one, that art, in all of its forms, consumes us, and two, that I am a writer. 

When we were stuck at home this past year, we watched movies to get us through the days. When we were dying of boredom, we read fiction books to escape. When we couldn’t sleep at night, we relied on music to slow down time. These past few months we’ve clung onto art like our sanity depended on it—because for the most part, it did. 

But I don’t think we take the time to appreciate all that art and artists have given us. At every period in my life, art has given me something. When I was younger, I stayed up reading until sunrise; I held onto books and characters until I unwillingly fell asleep. After I got into a car accident, the only thing that could keep me calm as I was driving was singing along to Taylor Swift’s “Lover” album. When I had a particularly rough day, I watched Disney movies for their unwavering commitment to happy endings. 

I’ve always loved art, but it wasn’t until recently that I noticed how much of my life revolved around it. Working at The Aggie, I read so many great articles from other writers on my desk. I met artists that blew me away with their work. I interviewed people that turned their art into a business. All of my interactions here really settled me in my belief that art is undervalued. We consume it in every form imaginable, but we never seem to appreciate its existence. The more I wrote, the more I realized the things I was eager to write about. I loved meeting new people who were passionate about what they were doing. I loved meeting people that took their hobby and ran with it. I loved meeting people who participated in art projects simply for the fun of it. But mostly, I loved writing about them. As horrible and difficult and exposing as writing is, I loved it. 

And yet, after all of these years writing an article week after week, I never considered myself a writer. People would ask me, “What do you do?” and I would respond with “I write.” But I never said “I’m a writer.” With that said, I’d like to take these last few lines of this article to finally call myself a writer. I unashamedly got better at writing in one of the most public settings, but hey, I got better. 

So here’s to The Aggie, the newspaper that never fired me despite my mistakes. But mostly, here’s to being a writer. 

Itzelth Gamboa is an arts writer for the arts and culture desk at The California Aggie. She joined the desk in October of 2018 and stayed in that position throughout her undergraduate career. She is graduating with bachelor degrees in sociology and communication. 

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