The Book that Changed Everything

10 October 2018

Once there was a little girl whose mother brought home a new book one night. The mother said “It’s called ‘Not One Damsel in Distress’ and we’ll read it tonight.” That night mother read that book to the girl. The book used the folklore of multiple countries to create a compilation of short stories about the bravery and intelligence of certain women. The little girl enjoyed the stories because of the adventures and the mythology these girls were involved in. Fast forward to the little girl who was no longer little. She had finally decided who she wanted to become, what to do for the rest of her life. Throughout the years, she learned about the world and its atrocities, and she developed a really cynical and bleak view on it. Because of this, she wanted to change the world, make a difference… But she didn’t know how until that point. She decided she was not going to introduce a new bill to congress or start a new wave of women revolution, but rather by touching the lives of thousands through teaching. She didn’t want to work in a privileged area, like where she grew up… She wanted to work in places like Chicago, Detroit, and Washington D.C because those were the places that needed the most help. She wanted to give as many people as she could, the opportunities that they deserved and strived for. As this idea thrived and grew in her head she gained a new fear, a fear of not making a difference and not being remembered. Her fear festered. It troubled her to the point that the future always seemed bleak and terrifying. She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t even find the joy that thinking about teaching use to bring her. And then one day something changed. As she walked up the stairs to her room, she glanced over at the family bookshelf, and one book caught her eye. Sitting in between the many books of her childhood was ‘Not one Damsel in Distress’. The stories rushed through her head, the one of the girl raised by bears, the young women left by her village to die, the little sister that tricked the evil witch, and the woman who became a pirate… and then the girl realized that she could turn her fear into her motivation. The girl stopped shying away, and embraced her fear, manipulating and morphing it to be her drive. That was the day she stopped being a damsel in distress… That was the day I was ready to take on the world.

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