The Cursive Letter “T” and My First Act of Rebellion

          Like most kids these days, I learned cursive in Elementary School. Cursive’s flowiness was fun, and writing in it made me feel like I was writing out checks like a grown-up. I loved writing in cursive, just for the sake of the pen swirling around the paper. To this day I’ll still turn to used pages in my planner and just cursive nonsensical sentences for relaxation.

          Back in elementary school there was one thing that I did not like though: my signature. The letter T that began my name looked so much like a presumptuous “J”. That nasty little swirl on the left side just seemed so wrong…and too feminine for my manly “Travis”.

          I don’t quite know when it was, but one day soon after I learned cursive I was signing my name and I very consciously got rid of the bottom swirl on the left, and I flipped the top swirl. Nobody told me to do this or gave me permission. I just did it. The J-looking T became a sharp musketeer-esk statement, with a feathered pointed hat on top and a tilted, straight line coming down to form the T. For whatever reason, making this change left an impression on me. I still think about it every time I sign my name. When I made the adjustment to my signature, nobody got mad and I loved it so much more. I didn’t realize it at the time, but making that change planted a seed inside of me. You can call it rebellion or innovation, but any fear of being different and doing things differently began it’s descent into oblivion.

          What is a childhood moment that you look back on as one that shaped you? Was there a habit or behavior or action that foreshadowed your current personality?



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