The books I would write would be of travels in foreign lands, of lessons learned, of beauty seen, or awareness heightened. The books I would write would tell of adventures of the body and spirit, of the mind and heart, adventures of a fully lived life. These books would tell of my own journeys across native soils, the people, the culture, the diversity and challenges of life. Filled with my own moments of pain and fear, these books would tell the stories of overcoming danger and adversity, rising above the terrors and facing the world head-on with courage and grace. The books I would write would tell these stories through honesty and hope, imparting wisdom and bravery to those reading the raw words of my own experiences.
These books I would write in the hopes of making a difference in the world. By using my own life, the only experiences I can truly, wholly know, and molding these experiences into words, more than words, emotions and awareness and realizations that could touch the deeply scarred souls of this world. I would write these books because I want to live this life, because I want to have these experiences and to know that I am capable of surmounting the strongest fears and deepest pains. I would write these books because if I could live this life, then somehow I believe the answers would find me. And in turn, these answers, this wisdom and knowledge, could be passed on to others.
Or maybe the books I would write would be a collection of my actual experiences, moving memoirs of the life I have actually lived. Maybe I would write a book detailing the internal turmoil of a ten-year-old guy with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Maybe I would describe the constant fears, the disturbing beliefs that every detail of life must be lived out in a certain way in order to avoid catastrophic repercussions. Maybe I would write of the endless hours spent arranging and rearranging books, or the feeling that no matter how much I ran, I would never be tired. Maybe I would write of being the preadolescent guy who ate his lunch by holding only the plastic wrapping, and the confusion he felt. Maybe I would write this story.
Or maybe I would write a book about an adolescent guy sitting outside his hostel, contemplating the meaning of life. Trying to understand why people try to force themselves, or not. I would write of a morning when the walk to school became a cross country, an attempt to flee from self. Maybe I would write of drugs and sex and every avenue of self-destruction and the reasons why these paths were not taken. Maybe I would write this story.
Maybe I would write these books because these are the stories I know. Because these are the stories I’ve lived. Because these are the stories that may actually make a difference to someone, somewhere, in the midst of tormenting fears or the confusion of a lost identity. Maybe I would write these books in the hopes that lost souls would know they are not alone, that their path is one that has been traveled by many, that their story is not so different from mine.
So maybe, just maybe, I would write books of my life, both real and imagined. Books that tell my story, and the story of so many others. Books that remind us all that life’s journey need not be walked alone, that the burdens will not always weigh upon us too heavily, and that beauty can be found even in the midst of darkness.