Remember, there was always one kid in your class who wouldn’t say anything.Would just talk to the three people in their comfort zone and sit at the very back of the class… Well that kid is me, or at least that kid used to be me at thirteen. Indifferent, shy, un-opinionated, were some words you could have used to describe me. But now, I’m pretty sure you’ll not be able to say the same.

Growing up in such an unprecedented and uncertain world, pushed me out of my comfort zone quite a few times, and this time around, I decided to stay on rather than descend back into my little burrow. All the while, growing out of my comfort zone,the one thing that remained constant in my life was reading.

Living in the world of fiction, I learnt to express my opinions and be more comfortable in my own skin. Thousands of different characters gave me different aspects of their thoughts and perspectives and offered me all of their different characteristics to choose from.

Now, I would like you to excuse me for creating my entire personality around my comfort characters, the most dominant being America Singer. Page by page as I read America, she was everything I wish I were. She was courageous and brave. Even though we both participate in embarrassing events from time to time, we aren’t afraid to make it a part of ourselves. America believed in standing up for what she thought was right and everyday I try to do the same. Like me, she too sometimes failed to be perfect and was unable to achieve some tasks, but she was always strong headed and thought about giving up only sometimes. She rebelled against what she thought was wrong and cared for her loved ones deeper than she showed. She also taught me that my mind doesn’t need to be a clear sunny day, but rather it can be a breezy cloudy dark day full of chaos.

“Marianne had the sense that her real life was happening somewhere very far away, happening without her, and she didn’t know if she would ever find out where it was and become part of it. She had that feeling in school often, but it wasn’t accompanied by any specific images of what real life might look or feel like. All she knew was that when it started, she wouldn’t need to imagine it anymore.” And so did I.

Everytime I speak up about something, I have a different opinion or space out making my everyday life a big blurb, my mind by default wanders back to Marianne. It is only through her that I learnt that it’s okay if people don’t think very well of me or are indifferent towards my opinions, I still have every right to express them. Learning through her and experiencing different situations, I have now understood that no matter what, I will always be the villain in someone else’s story, hence why not be the version of myself that I like the most.

The last fictional character I turn to when in severe need of a personality glow up, is Alex from red, white and royal blue. Alex is an extrovert who fails to make a lot of friends due to his pickiness. He thrives on chaos and even though he knows what he wants, he sometimes stumbles from his path. He continues to find himself in the different pieces and experiences of his life. Like him, I too am able to build myself around the needs of the people when required. I am able to read people and just like a mirrorball, I can show them every version of themselves.

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