Column: ‘The World is Still Learning’

TRL's Lauren Gardner wrote a book of poems which is a symbol of her strength


Grace Nguyen

Xlibris Publishing Company published TRL's Lauren Gardner's book of her poems on Feb. 6, 2019.

New York City. A city sprinkled with flavor and colorful faces. Varieties of people passed by as I sat, pen and paper in hand on the grassy edge of busy Central Park. The summer breeze cleared my mind as I scribbled my thoughts haphazardly on blank pages. Staring at the jumbled words on the page, I realized this was going to be the first poem of my book.

Throughout that summer of 2018, I continued to write, reminiscing on memories that had resurfaced.

I had always been the kid with big dreams. I had always reached for the sky, chasing life through poetic lines, but these lines began to bleed together when my sense of what childhood was became altered by reality.

As seasons of life brought changes and pain; I allowed others’ actions to break me. I felt trapped and felt their was not a way out of sadness. I continued to push down hurt and tried to overcompensate how I felt internally by making choices that I thought would make me happy but in result led me farther from loving myself.

Through these obstacles in my life I realized that even though I had changed I found strength through struggle. I felt led to share my struggles to hopefully help others who had gone through similar things and to encourage them that through pain there is hope.

Grace Nguyen
Lauren found that people respected her for her accomplishment. She said she hopes her book will help spread strength to those who are struggling.

Writing “The World is Still Learning” was one of the biggest steps of growth in my life. I found my storyline through my own pain, the pain of others, and the realization that many including myself had faced their pain alone. At the end of the summer I had a pile of white papers each with one poem on a page. I sent in my draft and got in contact with a publishing company. Each day I spent at least two hours focused on making it to the finish line. Draft by draft, editing the book cover and text size, the process took determination and focus on the ultimate goal in the end.

I wrote with honesty and truth. Through my publishing company, I sent drafts and made corrections. Trying to appeal to emotions people feel inside but are often too afraid to express. I wanted to create a sense of soundness in knowing that we can’t always see what others are going through internally, yet people often experience the same battles, even when it isn’t exposed on a surface level.

When the first copy of my book came in the mail I felt proud to accomplish something extremely difficult, mentally and emotionally. It also encouraged me to continue to write future books. I realized through friends, family and acquaintances, people respected that I had written something real.

In those times of hurt, growth and moving forward felt impossible. But I realized life is a process of falling down then finding the strength to keep going and overcome.