Write to the Point!

A Neighborhood Studios Program at the Mark Twain House

Meaghan Szilagyi and Her Tireless Pursuit of Happiness

By June Tran

Writing Apprentice

Twain Studios

A bubbly and compulsive 15-year-old born and raised in downtown Hartford, Meaghan Szilagyi was a weak baby born five months premature.

Raised into a family with a rich history rooted in Hungry, her grandfather was a prominent governor there where the family name is both well-known and respected. It was Szilagyi’s father’s trip to the United States after the wake of communism in Hungry that really ties into the story of Szilagyi’s life today.

Meaghan and Ambriel

Meaghan Szilagyi, left, and her Twain Studios friend, Ambriel Johnson, sometimes shared music while they wrote over the summer.

Her Sicilian grandmother cared for Szilagyi after she was born. 

Later, her older sister, Kaitlyn exposed Szilagyi to writing. Often she expressed envy for her sister’s work, feeling that her own work “did not compare.”

The insecurities did not stop there. Entering middle school, Szilagyi began to hate writing prompts and essays. Teachers often assigned ridiculous topics such as essays about “intergenerational relationships” or the reason why To Kill a Mockingbird is an American classic.

Boring subjects weren’t the only hurdle. Grades on writing assignments were also a problem.

Although she began to enjoy writing research papers and essays, she said, she “kept getting C’s.”

Szilagyi saw herself as someone who “sucked at writing essays.”

It was during an afterschool makeup session that Szilagyi met Cheryl Ryba, an eccentric English teacher who believed in the idea of “being with your inner self.”

Ryba inspired Szilagyi to keep writing and envelope herself in the art.

She now keeps herself busy with writing journals and poetry. While journaling, Szilagyi writes to an imaginary friend called “Phil.” In this journal, she records her daily activities and feelings.

Szilagyi is indecisive about which career she wants to pursue.

“I do but I don’t,” she said, when asked if she has a career plan for the future. In her mind, there are two paths that she’s planning to take, one that “cannot be written about” and the other a double major in sociology and psychology.

For someone who describes herself as having a “contradictory personality,” Szilagyi possesses an inexorable desire to pursue never-ending happiness.

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