In a world where negative messages are sent to young women daily, I find hope and inspiration in the women around me. It is these women who have given me the strength and determination to become an author one day in the hopes of helping young girls overcome their fears and struggles and reach their dreams.
When I was three years old, I found my calling in writing when my mother read me the story “Koala Lou” by Mem Fox. The author of this supernal book is also one of the first of many women who have inspired me.
The memory of my mother reading, “Koala Lou, I do love you! I always have, and I always will!” is forever engrained in my mind. This phrase was actually my first spoken sentence! The message of love and support throughout all of life’s triumphs and defeats from this story is what I carry in my heart as I keep moving forward.
With this message in my heart, I was sure that my road to success would be a breeze. However, every road has its unexpected bumps and curves. Because of my oldest sister’s bad experience at her middle school, my parents switched my other sister and me to a different school so that we wouldn’t have the same problems.
I remember being so excited to start anew. Unfortunately, my road to success still had some bumps and curves. At my new school, I found that girls weren’t as friendly as I expected. Very quickly, the disagreements that I thought of as nothing turned into full blown bullying. I went from having lots of friends to having everyone turned against me.
Girls would tell me I was too fat, too much of a bookworm, and way too much of a klutz. In gym class, everyone would try to hit me extra hard in dodge ball and make sure to laugh loudly when I was slow and out of breath because of my asthma. The bullying got so bad that I was scared to go to school every day.
When I ate a meal, the negative thoughts about my weight would whirl through my mind. When there was gym class, I would always try to fake an injury in the hopes of getting to sit out, away from the bantering of my classmates. I thought it would never end!
Then, after months of talking to people I trusted and regaining my confidence, the road to success seemed to smooth out. The same women who had inspired me before were now helping me be happy again.
One day, my mom brought home a book by Hayley DiMarco called, “Mean Girls: Facing Your Beauty Turned Beast” that changed the way I thought of my situation. With only 500 words, it’s hard to describe all my influences to you. Just know there are many, like Mem Fox and Hayley DiMarco who encourage me to grow as a writer and someday give back to other young women.