By Ana Paula Camacho Pérez
Insecurities constitute one of the most hidden secrets of human nature. They’re the foundation of the many walls and barriers we build around ourselves in order for the world not to find out who we really are. Because, apparently, vulnerability is a human calamity, and we can’t afford us falling into it. Humans will do anything in their power to bury them deep inside their souls, without noticing it makes them become another dull blended shadow in the materialistic unsubstantial world where “I’m okay” has become the only acceptable answer.
For me, insecurities started with something quite ironic: words. From an early age, I was unable to formulate words of my own, not because of incapability, but because fear and a strong ache filled my stomach every time my lips tried to produce any type of sound. This, as expected, led me to live in a state of unwanted isolation, loneliness, lack of self-acceptance and no integration to the developing society around me.
Others believed I didn’t understand them, others that I was unwilling to try, and others simply turned their backs on me. What they never dared to reflect on, was on how, even with my mouth shut, I was still unable to shut the dark feelings they were causing to arise deep inside my heart.
I found total comfort in only one person: my grandmother. Inside a new wooden cupboard, she kept three enormous books whose contents I was so intrigued to uncover. Hours before dawn came, my hands, sweating from curiosity, would stretch in order to reach the stories I yearned to discover. Still, without the capability of reading, I would ask my grandmother to read them out loud over and over again. Little by little, I learned every single word that resonated from her lips, every one of them whispering stories that felt as real as myself. I only dreamt of one thing from said moment: being able to discover these tales by myself.
Little did I know, soon enough, I would be embarking on a lifetime journey. I remember it quite clearly: my dark brown shoes, my ironed skirt, as well as my neatly combed pigtails. However, I mostly remember an item I tightly held between my hands: my first book. That day, at noon, as usual, the morning bell rang. I sat on the crowded playground, letting the children’s screams surround my silent self. With my little fingers, I gently brushed the pages whose story would change my life forever. My first words, my first journey, the first time I didn’t feel alone:
“Chapter One: The Wrong Door. This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child. It is a very important story because it shows how all the comings and goings between our own world and the land of Narnia first began.”