Lila Dooley penned this collection of poems when she was 13 as a way to cope with bullying and feeling like an outcast. She hopes that reading these poems will help other teens cope with it as well.
Weymouth, Mass. - Lila Dooley attended a small private school where she was just one of 13 girls. She entered the school in third grade which therefore earned her the label of "the new girl." Lila quickly learned that to be accepted into this group would require her to conform. Lila chose to remain true to herself, however not without a price. She found herself left out of most gatherings. The gatherings she did attend, she felt unwelcomed and awkward. She was not immune to the hurtful remarks and secret giggles all at Lila's expense. It was at this point that Lila began writing down her feelings. These feelings transposed into a collection of beautiful poetry. Lila's poems served as a type of self-therapy but have now become a gift from her to the many others that may be experiencing the same feelings.
The poetry collection, Each Step I Take, is heart-felt and wonderfully introspective. It's as personal as a diary, but as relatable as a conversation with a best friend. Although this book is deeply personal, Dooley chose to share it with the world in an effort to help other teenagers who are going through the same things. Her goal is to let readers know that they are not alone. Many other people feel the exact same way. In her poem, One, she sums up what she wishes her legacy to be:
"One word can change lives."
Putting her thoughts into rhyme and rhythm, Lila was able to focus on her feelings and work through them. While it is a key resource for other teens who feel like outsiders, the truth and beauty in the language would appeal to anyone. For example, see the thought and care Dooley put into the title poem:
"Each step I take adds to a mile/Each mile I take/I smile."
She is well aware that making the change from loner to confident person will not happen overnight. It takes time and care to grow to a point where the slights of others cannot hold you down.
That something beautiful emerged from something so heart-wrenching shows the resilience of the human condition. It is more important to focus on the positives than the negatives that created it. This book will last forever, much longer than the moments of careless cruelty that inspired it.
Each Step I Take can be purchased online now through SDP Publishing, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
About the Author
Lila Dooley was just 13 when she wrote these poems. She lives south of Boston with her mother and father, sister Ava and her brother Harry, who urged her to share her work.
She didn't fit in at her school. Her exclusion was made worse by Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. However, she changed schools. Her natural tendency toward happiness was given a place to grow and thrive. In addition to her love of the written word, she enjoys gardening, field hockey, basketball and volleyball.
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