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Of cowardice and bravery

August 14, 2014

He asked me what I wanted to do in life. And of course, I had an answer. I knew it since I got my first diary 16 years ago and named her Dia. I knew my answer since the day I held an ink pen for the first time in sixth grade and saw those beautiful blue letters flowing on the white pages. I was spellbound. I was smitten with words.

But it takes an awful lot of courage to say what you want to do in life, especially to the ones who are in the business. Do I even have the right to want it? What if he laughs at me? What if he thinks I’m just being silly? What if he thinks there’s no chance in hell that I could be a writer and pretends to be okay with my reply?

So, I chicken out. I say that I have no idea what I want in life.

It stings to betray yourself like that. Repeatedly. You betray all those things you taught yourself growing up, just by not being brave enough to tell what you dream about. You betray all those books you read throughout the years and cringe every time you thought of your heroes, like Scarlett continuing to be headstrong and doing whatever she wanted to do despite not getting approval from her family. Or Howard Roark’s unbridled determination to build a career in architecture, even though he pissed off a lot of people and got expelled from college. I turn an ashamed head to them every time I say or do something they wouldn’t approve of.

It’s difficult when you alone keep pushing yourself to go after your dreams. It’s difficult to ignore and forget judgments. It’s difficult to stop doubting yourself.

I mean, my God, where do you find the bravery to say: “This is me.”

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