The first time I put my feelings and thoughts on paper I was fourteen years old and a guest had come to our house from the village. There were no schools in the village then.  People were uneducated and many village people associate having a son in the family with honor and power, while daughters are considered a weakness and sometimes a shame in society. My parents have four daughters, me and my three sisters, and our parents never feel shame; they are proud of us.

That day we were having lunch with the villagers when one of the women asked my mother how many children she had. My mother proudly answered that she had four daughters.  The woman was shocked and said to my mother: “You are an unlucky woman for having daughters but no son.”

I was hurt when I heard this and so was my mother.  I saw from the expression on her face that it depressed her. I left and went to my room. I was confused and I wanted to unleash my feelings.  I was worried about how my mother was feeling.

I was thinking about crying when a pen and piece of paper caught my attention. I started writing to calm myself and express my feelings. This may have been the best decision I ever made in my life.

I wrote about how both genders have an equal right to respect, value, and honor.  I wrote that having a daughter should not be shameful because men and women both have special abilities and we should respect both as equal on this earth.

I wrote and wrote, and I was surprised to see that I had filled three pages. I felt better. By then the guests had left and my family members had gathered together.  My mother was still sad and I worried about her. I thought about what I had written and without hesitation I went to my room, got the pages, and sat next to my mother and read them aloud to her.

She listened carefully. When I finished, she hugged me and kissed my forehead.  She said she felt blessed and calmed and proud. She encouraged me to keep writing so that I would be an even better writer one day. I was so happy for my mother in that moment.  Once again, she was smiling.

Now I am twenty years old, and I believe writing can be a proud experience that can make you strong even if you are only writing a friendly letter or an essay for school. It is a powerful feeling to write something of your own and send your feelings, thoughts, and ideas out into the world.

By Kochay

Photo by Laura’s Eye