One of the hardest things you do in life is a self-assessment and an analysis of who you are and what you want to do with your life. We feel like that especially when we’re about to go to college or when you’re in college wondering what’s in store for you after you graduate. Did I make the right decision? Definitely. Not.
As a new writer, in a very new field for me, I was trying to write an introduction piece presenting my wonderful person and which character I most identify with so I could relate to you, the readers. Because that’s what writers do, right? They make you feel connected to their characters as the story unfolds.
What story am I unfolding here? I am no Shakespeare, I am no Tolkien, I am certainly not Stephen King or Marian Keyes. After trying to come up with something for hours I realised that I can’t write about just one character, that wouldn’t be fair. Maybe, then, I could write about the ones that made me this person today, and that will make me a completely different person tomorrow.
Since I was a child I’ve always had a book in my hands. I was encouraged to read and every time I got grounded for something or other my mum would hide the book that I was reading until I was off the hook. Many of you will think that I got off really light, it was just a book after all. It was barbaric. Reading was much more than an escape from reality, but it was something that helped me learn grammar, other languages, and about the world.
All characters had an impact in my life at a certain point, be it small or big, be it a passing fancy or long term. Some of these characters helped me understand what’s expected of me as a human being, others taught me how to stand up for myself and others taught me to accept what makes me different from everyone else, because it makes me special. I certainly wouldn’t be who I am today and I wouldn’t have the same drive as I have to get what I want if it weren’t for them.
Hermione Granger was presented to me when I was seven, just when I started to read thicker books. Let’s just say that I skipped the ones with drawing and went straight to Harry Potter. At the time, J.K. Rowling had written only the first three books of the saga, and the movie had been released and I got hooked. After that fateful day that I watched Harry Potter, I knew that I had to read every single book to find out what happened to the Dark Lord. And in the midst of the whole fascination, I started to notice that I was just like Hermione in a lot of ways. We were both stubborn and strong willed, we were both smart (I still believe that I am… to some extent) and we both loved to read. I fell hard for her, I could really relate to her, and I decided that I wanted to be her when I grew up. Strong, fearless, caring, and loving.
Actually, come to think of it, she does remind me a lot of Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Lizzy was fierce and protective of her family, capable of making her own decisions but she was also flawed. Just like Hermione and just like me. I admired her sense of right and wrong and how her biggest flaw wouldn’t let her see what other people (a.k.a. Mr. Darcy) had to offer. She also liked to read so that was a big plus for me. It’s always interesting when I see people, especially women, thinking that the book is a love story rather than a heavy criticism of the way women were seen in society.
I’ve always identified myself with strong women, inside and outside books, and they were really important to me to test my limits and discover myself. I am not a typical woman, I don’t believe they exist, I’m rather a woman with abilities and flaws like everybody else. I am a feminist and I believe in fighting for what’s fair and just. I’m never static, I’m always moving and improving. I like to surprise people and I love being myself. It’s hard at times but I always stay true to my heart like Hermione and Lizzy are always true to theirs. And always expect the unexpected from me!
My name is Barbara C. Diniz and I’m from Brazil! I’m a 21-year-old undergrad and living far away from my family. My major is International Relations and I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with my life after I graduate. I believe this might change by the end of 2017 though. I read a lot from whatever genre you can imagine. I also listen to a lot of music and I like to binge watch series’ online. And I do have a social life. My favourite colour of all times is red, just because. I write both American and British English so don’t get confused when you see (or don’t) a letter that wasn’t supposed to be there. This is the first time that I ever written for a non-academic blog, and I’m really excited and a bit scared at the same time. If you have any ideas, facts, or criticisms about my articles, please comment. I value truthfulness and I always have room to improve so I can write better and you can enjoy my articles!
[Barbara will be guest-blogging with us on a monthly basis – check out her articles on the second Saturday of every month]