The first book I ever wrote was a cheeky, religious romantic comedy (is that even a genre?) based loosely on my own life.
Like Melody Reyes, the main character, I visited the States for the first time when I was an adult. Sadly, unlike Melody, I did not bump into a hot Asian businessman who fell deeply and madly in love with me.
I know. It’s a tragedy that life doesn’t imitate art sometimes.
Now, you might be wondering: ‘why did you visit America, Nia?’ (Or you might not be wondering that. Maybe you’re wondering why I’m writing this huge paragraph on a Saturday morning instead of sleeping in, but I’m going to assume you do care or my ego will be shot).
Here’s the answer: I took my first trip to the States because I was depressed. Like a black cloud over my head, rain pouring down, flashbacks in black and white, tiny violins playing whenever I opened my mouth depressed.
See, I had a plan for my life that involved going to college somewhere other than Belize. All my friends were leaving to study too. We were already dividing chores because we planned to share dorms. My parents were taking time off work to accompany me on the flight there.
I had everything set.
All I needed was that scholarship to roll in.
Any minute now.
I’m pretty sure you can guess what happened next.
My whole life shattered when I got told no.
I cried every night.
I didn’t want to talk to my friends or my loved ones.
I was just devastated.
Then one day, my extended family pooled in to buy me a ticket to the States. The trip was a great distraction, even if I didn’t get much chances to ‘turn up’ given the company was my missionary aunt and my amazing-but-easily exhausted great-grandmother.
VIEW FROM OUTSIDE THE PLANE
I started writing more seriously during those three weeks in America. On the plane. In the back room of my green-card-wielding uncle’s house. On a sticky table at a local Quiznos.
Until I finished the book.
Then I typed it out on the computer. Then I published it.
My life completely changed after I pressed that button.
But it was my drive to go after what I wanted that changed first.
I know for a lot of people life is feeling really chaotic right now. Black clouds are hovering over our heads for a million different reasons. We might feel helpless when it comes to changing the world around us, but there’s one thing we have control over.
Each of us has a purpose for being here.
A reason we were born.
There’s something you have that the world desperately needs.
Take tiny steps toward that dream.
Break it free.
One day, you’re going to share your origin story.
And on that day, we’re going to throw a party in front of the doors that slammed in our faces and told us no.
Hey there! My name is Nia. I was born and raised in the West Indies, which means I grew up swimming in the Caribbean Sea and I like my food seasoned to the heavens.
Most of the time, I'm glued to my laptop, frantically typing out the love story in my head, but when I manage to slink away from my desk, I enjoy bawling over k-dramas, watching natural hair videos on YouTube, and listening to K-pop.
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