Writer: Misaal Irfan
I open a book of the past.
Each page has an odd distinct aura of an old library and time passes, oh how fast!
Flipping through the pages, I reimagine these different moments in time.
Parents looking down at their young girl with joy and pride.
Never ceasing to give her infinite happiness, their love is eternal.
Thankful as a tear drips onto the rough sand like pages, I discover the distant memories in this journal.
With age, the pages have yellowed and wrinkled and seem tired as they grasp onto small strands of memories.
Full of laughter and quiet whispers of sweet gentle remarks like a breeze.
My Mother’s love was care, and I her sweetheart.
Hobbies like painting or drawing, fashion, and art.
Bold bright orange turtlenecks, silver sequined hats, smooth velvet juicy couture tracksuits, and an array of converse.
She wanted me to be a queen, a mogul, and a confident girl in this universe.
Even if my confidence ever melts,
She said I was as powerful and as amazing as anyone else.
My father’s love was entrepreneurship and knowledge
Facts, figures, news, and tips for college
Strive for what may seem like hysteria.
You can become the President of the United States of America;
You can help the poor and sick in America;
You can hike the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka;
You can create a successful company.
You can essentially change the world from sea to sea.
There are pictures encapsulating my small successes;
Trying on, for the first time, poofy pink dresses,
Singing with my choir for hours,
Painting my room purple with bubbly orange flowers,
Winning the spelling bee in second grade,
Slowly achieving the goals I had made.
Once, I lost track of what page I was reading.
My faith, my tongue, my skin gave me insecure feelings.
I felt scared.
I felt weak.
I felt small.
My conviction was fleeting.
I felt unique to have a colorful vibrant culture, yet,
I feared it.
I resented it.
I hated it.
My parents never let this resentment allow me to fear who I was.
Embrace yourself and teach others about where you come from because
You are beautiful, with your true being you are complete.
The dancing, the singing, the thirst for knowledge, the urge to compete,
These are only some of the traits embedded in the rungs of this book,
To which my cultural and familial roots are hooked.
As I add more pages to this book, I add more days,
And each day, at a better version of my true self I gaze.
My fashion sense has changed, thankfully, as well as my goals.
Both will continue to change as I grow old.
Today, as I read page 7083, now I can say that
I am confident.
I am proud.
I am me,
And I am genuinely happy to continue writing and sticking more memories in this book.