Photo by Kleigh Balugo
Tracy Fuentes sits on her couch, embroidering an orange mushroom onto a pair of jeans. “The Weekend” by SZA plays in the background, as she focuses intently on not stabbing herself with the needle.
Tall bookshelves grow from the floor, like trees in a forest. The shelves are overflowing with dvds, everything from her most recent picks from Goodwill to her childhood favorites. She often finds it difficult to decide which movie to watch, debating between a new film starring one of her favorite actresses, Saoirse Ronan, or an old classic Barbie in the Nutcracker.
Tracy’s favorite movie, however, is Whisper of the Heart, as she identifies with the main character.
“I love it because it centers around a young reader and writer, who is not quite sure what she wants to do with her life. I relate to the story about following your passions so much, and of course I love the appreciation of books in the movie,” Tracy said.
Although dvds take up a fair share of her bookshelf space, books are by far the majority. Good readers make good writers and Tracy is no exception. Ever since she was in elementary, she has always been an avid reader and writer.
“I have been a lover of the written word ever since I learned to read. Once I learned how to write my own stories, I created so many worlds and characters in my spiral notebooks,” Tracy said.
Tracy’s passion for writing translated to starting a writing platform of her own, Kindergarten Mag. As an English and Political Science major in her third year of college, Tracy has written for a fair share of publications.
Yet she has always desired something much more personal, “I struggled to find an inclusive publication that catered to my many interests, so I thought why not create that space myself? Also, I have loved magazines my entire life, and dreamed of creating my own since I was young, so this is a dream come true.”
Tracy’s bookshelves are also home to many print magazines, one of her favorite reading mediums. Her childhood favorite is Girls Life and she admits to still reading it, although she isn’t the target audience anymore.
Most days, however, Tracy finds herself reading TIME, Vanity Fair, or, The New York Times, to keep up with current events. Tracy is always well-versed on current issues, especially in 2020, amidst the pandemic and Presidential Election.
Although Tracy manages to stay up to date with current events, she also thinks about her future often.
“My dream job would be a famous author of novels. However, I am the type of person who would love to work in multiple careers, so I’d ideally wish to be making bank off my novels while also owning my own used bookstore and teaching courses at the local university. Quite ambitious, I know,” Tracy said.
Tracy has never been one to only hold a single interest or hobby. This also makes for a very long to do list. Make polymer clay charms or watch her favorite anime Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure? Tracy somehow finds time in her busy schedule to do all of the above and still turn in her semester finals too.
It is extremely rare to find Tracy not surrounded by her loved ones. Her family, boyfriend, and friends play a big role in her life. A bigger role than books though? That’s debatable.
“I think my friends would describe me as the ‘mom friend’ or the planner of the group, because I love to plan parties and hangouts for us,” Tracy said.
Today, Tracy planned a crafting session. Her friends surround her, working on different projects of their own, as she inches closer to finishing her mushroom.
“Look I sewed the pant hole shut again!” Tracy said, showing everyone around her.