Perhaps it’s a bit cliché to say that I am who I am today because of books. But it’s true, and to that, I owe everything I have now. In history, reading was only for the elite, education was a luxury many were barred from, and book burnings were frequent campaigns to keep knowledge out of the public’s reach. The simple reason?
Words have power. Books have broadened my imagination as a little girl, and since then, the journeys they have taken me on have taught me so much more. From courage and perseverance to empathy and forgiveness, from spells and swordsmanship to the evolution of chess. But most importantly, they have taught me my love for writing.
When you ask me to describe myself, I’ll say I’m a writer. I will always be, because to me, writing doesn’t just mean I have stories that I put into words. It’s not just a profession. Writers are daydreamers, thinkers, innovators, artists, and warriors. They paint pictures with words but also wield them for a cause.
Now that I have learned to write for myself, I have opened myself up to a whole new world of possibilities. Writing has taught me so much: how to be confident, how to listen, how to observe. How to ask questions, how to challenge boundaries, to become independent. But more than that, it has become something to help me understand myself better.
Last year my grandfather had a series of hospitalizations. He was diagnosed with cancer, and long story short, it changed my family a lot. It was a painful time for us, especially my mom. I felt more alone than usual, and death became a very real possibility to me. He’s still fighting, thankfully, but the point is that I wrote about it. Granted, it was for an English assignment, because I wouldn’t have dared touch the keyboard then. During those months, I had stopped writing for myself. I was afraid to touch the keys, afraid of what my mind would wander to.
I stopped because I was scared. And the reason I chose to write about this point in my life when I was given a choice, was because I knew I needed it. And it was true; so much more than I had imagined. When I could write again, that was proof that I was ok. I needed to confront my pain and my fears rather than hiding from them, and writing helped me do that. Today I have healed because of writing, and even then it has helped me through so much more.
Writing is who I am, and I haven’t put down my pen since. When I write, I’m not just a girl. I can do so much more. History is proof that words can make change. That the pen is mightier than the sword. As long as I’m willing to try, one day I might be able to change the world, and it is an honor to have the chance.