For all intents and purposes my story is pretty simple. My name is Amanda Sciandra Robinson (pronounced Shawn-dra in case you were wondering). Growing up I hated my middle name. I would have given an arm, leg or maybe even my prized POG collection for a “normal” one. It was forever being butchered, and I quickly tired of my little spiel where I explained, “It’s Italian, my mother’s maiden name.” Today, things have changed. My name is my heritage, my family, a part of who I am, and I am proud to have it. I am Italian, German, Scottish and English. I was born on November 23, 1989 in Winter Park, Florida. I attended Catholic school through the 8th grade; you know, plaid skirts, sailor ties, nuns, the whole ordeal. I am a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Program, which should sum up my entire high school experience if you have ever heard of “IB kids.” If not, then Pink has it pretty much covered. You know those lyrics, “too school for cool?” well, that was me.
I have a younger brother whom I love, most of the time. My parents are still happily married, and other than a few fish, my brother’s long extinct hermit crab collection and the assortment of stray cats and dogs that I begged my mom to keep over the years to no avail, I have only ever had one pet, a cockatiel named Mo. He, who I later found out was in fact a she, was well loved, made a colossal mess and epically failed at whistling the Andy Griffith Show theme song, not for lack of trying. I have brown-ish hair, green eyes and am 5’6’’. I am a senior at the University of Florida majoring in Journalism and minoring in both History and Organizational Leadership of Nonprofits. I live to write and write to live.
That’s me, or at least the me I openly broadcast. The truth about me, as most truths go, is complicated. My story is unfinished. I am writing it every day. What I write I become. My story is bold, new, unique, and above all, mine. I am a dreamer, a doer, a writer, a photographer, a believer, a poet, a music enthusiast, an artist, a traveler, a peacemaker, a college student, a daughter, a sister, a free spirit, and according to my friends, I am the definition of weird. I am bound, broken and made whole again. I am a fighter. I am afraid of the dark and can’t sleep in the light. I love heat lightning in the summertime. I can’t dance, although I never pass up an opportunity to try. I have always wanted a vintage turntable. I am a bit neurotic, but then again aren’t we all? I have a slight obsession with peace signs, inspiring quotes and all things black and white.
Someday I hope to write the quintessential great American novel, or at least something longer than a term paper. I believe chocolate covered popcorn to be the greatest invention, possibly of all time…right behind fire and the wheel. I love foreign movies with English subtitles, TOMS Shoes, twitter and coming across a really thought-provoking piece of street art. I firmly believe that whoever invented chewing gum should have his/her own holiday. I sincerely wish my life was a cheesy 80s movie, but I’d be more than happy if I landed in an episode of Gilmore Girls. I can’t say no, it’s kind of a disease. I hate jello, the whole jiggling thing freaks me out. I believe ketchup should be a food group. I’ve always wanted to act. I am verging on professional air-guitarist and my shower has become my own private recording studio. My second toe is longer than my first. My dad says it means I’m royalty, I secretly hope he’s right. I am a city girl at heart. I write in order to save my brain from inevitable internal combustion. Coffee is my drug of choice. I live with my feet firmly planted on the ground, but my mind makes the occasional journey into the clouds.
I am the maker of my own destiny, the forger of my own path, the artist in my own rendition of an Andy Warhol. I am real. I am open. I am free. But most of all, I am searching; searching for my place in this crazy little thing called life.