We moved around a lot when I was younger, never spending more than 1-2 years in one place. This made it really hard for me to make and keep friends so I always felt like an outsider. My home environment was inconsistent and tumultuous. This recipe was a catalyst to entrepreneurship. Both the seedling and soil.
What remained constant was the library, and the incredible stories and new worlds contained in the books.
I remember the first few books that enchanted both my mind and soul as a young child.
My dad would take me to the library every week. As soon as we got there I would make a beeline to the children’s’ section and grab as many individually packaged bags that I could – bags that contained a singular picture book and it’s companion audio cassette tape. When we came home I would run to my mini radio boombox and insert the first tape. The sound of the voice narrating Cat in the Hat wafted into the living room and into my ears and my heart. Dramatic – absolutely, but it was love at first sound.
Love at first story, my little heart pitter pattered, just wholly reveling the remarkable words strung together. Words into sentences, snapped together perfectly like legos building a magical, fantastical story in my head.
I learned English this way.
I would listen over and over, enunciating along, rewinding, stopping, eyes bright, finger tracing the jagged black outlines of the wild and beautiful green ham.
I think this is where it began.
The library and books. The art, and stories.
They helped shape me.
They helped me break rules, to learn, listen before I spoke, to create, to be strange, to not settle. They cultivated in me a desire for something different. To crave a better, bolder world. They were an escape. A dialogue between myself and my soul, between me and the author.
A story, my story – a path, an imperfect trail. Onward.