You are running up the field at a million miles per hour, eyes focused on the target: the goal. It’s your freshman year of high school and you're in try-outs, but somehow, you were able to steal the ball from an upperclassmen. You are in control now, zipping down the field past every other player who is trying to get in your way, doing anything they can to distract you long enough to take the ball. But this is your moment, and as you near the goal, breathe in deeply before stopping for a single second. You line the goal up with the ball, the ball with your foot.
Right now, you are the only one on the field: Just you, the ball and the goal. And you're ready. Brushing the sweat from your brow, you back up, extending your left foot backwards into the air and swing. In the blink of an eye, your foot smacks the rubber before the ball goes soaring into the air. Watching in amazement, as the ball smashes into the backside of the net, you drop to your knees and smile, screaming triumphantly. You did it. You scored the goal and suddenly, you feel on top of the world, as if anything and everything will now be possible. That’s how I feel when I write: On top of the world, as if anything and everything is possible.
I started writing at a very young age and have always been drawn to it. Perhaps it is because of the feeling I get when I finally write a good introduction after struggling for a long time, like everything is finally falling into place after a long, strenuous battle. Or maybe it’s because when I write stories, I am in control and anything is possible.
Growing up with Cerebral Palsy, it seemed that I always had somewhere to be or something to do: A neurologist appointment here, physical therapy there, an occupational therapist appointment after that. I rarely felt I had control over what I was doing. When I wrote my stories, I had that control. I was the author; I controlled where the story was set, who the characters were, what the plot was going to be. I didn't have to worry about anyone forcing me into anything because the story was mine and as a kid, that meant a lot to me.
Now, as a young adult, I still feel the same way. No matter how hectic or busy my schedule gets, no matter how many things I have to do, I know that my stories will always be my own; even if my world seems to be controlled by everyone around me. Anything is possible when I write my stories. I can write a story about a strong, feminist protagonist, forgetting for a minute how shy I really am. I could write about a character going to the Olympics, forgetting for a second that my body will never allow me to reach the same level of athleticism.
I think that’s why I love writing so much: No character or plot line is bound the same way people in the real world are. Authors get to choose their characters faults and strengths, opportunities and abilities, unlike people in the real world. Nothing is bound by human inability in a story and for someone that is bound by those human inabilities, nothing is more freeing than writing about not being bound.