Written by Antonia Grosoiu. Edited by Amelia Zawadzka and Isabella Romine.
Artwork by Aerielle Ong.
The title might sound cliché but you will understand its meaning after reading this short but inspiring narrative.
At the start of 2020, I had plans … a lot of them. I was supposed to go to college, start my “own” responsible life, and live independently. That all sounded amazing to me. What 18-year-old wouldn’t want to live without their parents? However, I learned that, in only a couple of months, things can change drastically.
Covid-19 and quarantine really took a toll on me. Even if physically I didn’t show it, mentally, I was pretty much going “cuckoo”. Although online classes were going great and I seemed to be the most productive I’d ever been, inside my mind, there were always questions such as “Am I going to make it?”, “Do I know what I want to do next?”. It is energy-draining to constantly think about your future and never be able to enjoy the present. That was what was going through my mind at the beginning of quarantine. Five months in, after a lot of self-realisation, my mindset has changed a lot.
It all started when I decided to actually DO something with my life. Not long after, I got a message that, even though at the time I didn’t know, would change my life completely. One of my friends suggested that, since I’m passionate about writing, I should try and sign up to be part of this “Momentum Magazine” initiative. Right away I thought “Well this could be a sign, right?” I filled out a form and two weeks later my entire AP English class pretty much saw me freak out (In that exact moment, as I was reading my acceptance email, my teacher asked me a question – something about analysis and meanings. I blanked out, having forgotten everything I ever learned about literature in those five seconds that took me to read THAT sentence: “We are delighted to inform you that you have been offered a position as a WRITER!” Right then, I hear a voice answering the question that was meant for me. Thank God for friends. You know who you are). Moving on. Writing for Momentum changed all my plans. Shortly, I became a co-director of the writing department along with my twin, Farida Amr (no, she is not actually my twin–but be on the lookout for Issue 2 where we explain how we met and why we, well … are twins). Quarantine, the pandemic, not knowing exactly what I wanted to do, and the magazine all ended up influencing my decision to take a gap year and figure out the rest: best decision I ever made.
The Momentum community not only allows me to share my talents with other people, but also gives me the opportunity to be in an environment where everyone shares similar goals, has alike passions, and is not afraid to say what they think, knowing they will not be judged. Our team, along with multiple others, have demonstrated that teenagers can indeed change the world through more than politics. There are still teenagers who are passionate about writing, art, coding, creating something out of nothing.
Although not everyone will take the same things out of working with our group, I think we can all agree that this project was created in order to not only bring awareness to the arts, but also to show the world that they still matter. This is where my journey started.
Momentum gave me the courage I needed to trust myself and, most importantly, to trust others. If you know me, you know that I am a very “do it myself” kind of person. “But Antonia, you are literally one of the directors. Don’t you HAVE to be a team person?”. Well, even if by status, yes, I am a director, when I work with everyone else, I’m just Antonia. No one is better than the other one. No one is more powerful than anyone else. We, the directors, are just there to make sure things are organised and stuff gets done on time. “How is this relevant to your story?”. Realising that team work is dream work, that’s how. If you told me a year ago that I would be working TOGETHER with 70 other people to create something, I would have told you “sir/ma’am, you are crazy”. However, here I am, actually doing it.
That’s how I found The Momentum, both literally and figuratively. Starting to do something that made me happy 24/7 made me realize that not knowing what you are going to do half a year from now is not THAT bad. As long as what you are doing right now makes you smile when you wake up and go to sleep, you are doing it right.
We are no longer the Momentum team. We are now the Momentum family and that should mean something looking at the fact that, almost four months ago, we were a bunch of strangers with the same goal: establishing a magazine.