Yesterday I went into a local highschool to give a talk about my debut novel. Everyone was really fascinated that I was so young yet I had been published. It was very nerve-wrecking, don’t get me wrong – the last time I left highschool, I told myself I’d never go back! I think the thing that made me nervous was knowing that the whole highschool environment was rich with social class and rank – who was ‘cool’ and who wasn’t, for I was that kid who never cared, and aimed to unite everyone who were considered ‘outcasts.’ I was nervous because being back make me feel like I was that kid struggling to believe in herself, and struggling to realise that being the most prettiest girl wasn’t about wearing the shortest dress and the most makeup with the perfect hairdo, but being someone everyone knew as ‘the girl who was always happy, always kind and never spoke about others’. I feel sorry for kids these days; they’re forced to feel they have to prove themselves just to fit it.
So I stood in front of all those kids and decided to remind myself that in that crowd, there was someone like me – someone who had a dream, had a talent, and might not have shared it because they thought it was a talent with no future. I reminded myself that I could be that person that changes something in their mind and that makes them realise that they can do whatever they want to – that they can be the best artist, the best singer, the best writer… Anything they wanted.
I stood up there and spoke and didn’t care for the kids who spoke and laughed amongst themselves, but I cared for those kids who sat quietly, staring in intrigue as I spoke. Some kids were brave enough to come up afterwards and speak to me, and I made sure I encouraged them and have them my full attention.
All in all, I just pray I was an inspiration to someone. Even if I impacted one person, or just sparked something very small in just one person, at least I know that I made some kind of impact. At least I know my dream and my accomplishments are not only for me, but they’re for others too.