Elijah is a writer and filmmaker from the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his BA in English from Saint Mary’s College of California. Whether through his writing or filmmaking, Elijah is focused on constructing compelling narratives, creating stories that delight, provoke, and inspire. He currently works as a freelance writer and content creator for startup companies in and around the Bay Area. Recently, Elijah has also begun collaborating on screenplays for both feature films and television.

As a Story Terrace writer, Elijah interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better: you can read an autobiographical story of his own below. Get in touch today to work with him!

A Touch of Audacity

Maybe it was grit. Maybe it was luck, or penance. Or perhaps it was an ephemeral gleam in my eye that moved the realtor, reassuring him as I signed the lease that day. Whatever it was, it worked. And at 18 years old, I moved into my first apartment.

I was not sure what he was thinking as he instructed me to “initial here” and “sign there.” At the time I had no assets, no credit, and no real world experience. Not only that, I was a full-time student with only two months of work experience. I was a walking bevy of red flags, flapping conspicuously in all directions, but he somehow never took notice.

After signing, I stood at the front window of my new apartment and watched as the realtor drove away. In my hand, a newly made key twirled in endless revolutions. I remained at that window for quite some time, waiting—feeling that at any moment, the realtor would realize his blunder and race back to the apartment. But the realtor did not return that day, and the vague sense of guilt I felt was soon overcome by an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. I had done it. I had earned my autonomy, on my own terms, through perseverance and a touch of audacity.

Whenever I sign a new lease or move into a new residence, I was always think back to those first moments in that empty apartment. No furniture, no kitchen table or chairs. No cable TV—just a mattress that slept in the corner of my room and an old TV set with a bent antenna. In those days, Matlock kept me company. Although I remember struggling that entire year, enough time has passed to make me feel nostalgic about my first taste of freedom. It was sweet. Damn sweet. Although, it didn’t take long for the taste to turn astringent, near caustic. Bills will do that to you. Bills will always do that to you.

Sometimes I find myself in that old neighborhood for one reason or another. Time permitting, I’ll take a few extra turns until I come to that street that will, for me, always carry the connotations of liberation and triumph. I take my time as I pass the apartment; gaze up at that front window, at the faded paint clinging to life against the front door, and wonder: seriously, what the hell was that realtor thinking?