Hanan Adi


Senior Peer Reviewer. Former Write the World young writer, now mentoring other WtW young writers through peer reviews!

Message to Readers

My efforts over my competition essay ultimately pushed me to the point of tears of frustration and disappointment. At that point, I said to myself, "Hey. If it's so hard that you're not enjoying it, you don't have to do it." I seems I must simply be satisfied knowing that I tried.

A Frank Confession

May 30, 2019

The words I have been struggling for all month still have not arrived. Perhaps it is no wonder -- nothing short of a lifetime would be necessary to comprehend fully how growing up without social media has shaped me into the person I am.

I did so badly want to take part in this competition -- the subject is so close to home. And yet, I have found, in revisiting my past, such a wealth of memories have come to me that I have been utterly unable to compress them into a few hundred words. I could state the facts plainly enough -- how this predominantly offline life has turned me into a fiercely independent person, a freethinker, a skeptic, and an optimist, among other things. Yet a mere statement of facts -- which is the best my skill can craft out of a mere handful of words -- fails to capture the true essence of all my formative years.

I want the share the wonder I felt as an adolescent, discovering everything for the first time on my own -- from the changes my body underwent, to the path of the moon across the night sky. I want to share the exhilaration of learning something about myself -- a long-dormant dream, a surprising facility, a change in perspective -- and never having to fear "the haters" bringing me down before such discoveries could bear fruit. I want to share the doubt I have often felt and still do feel, that this lifestyle has perhaps deprived me of some of the advantages of modern life, yet my conviction that, in spite of this, it has all been worthwhile.  

One would be most likely to suggest to me, in this case, to illustrate my collective experience with a single particularly poignant episode therefrom. But what do I do when the most profound and most moving thoughts and understandings have come to me in no more glorious, no less mundane a form than talking quietly to myself, than staring for many long, late afternoon hours out of a dusty window?

I am convinced that my story is a unique one, and one worth sharing. I hope to share at least something more than this with my fellows here on Write the World, before I leave this site upon turning nineteen.

In the meantime, I can only say, the more time staring at a screen that you replace with time staring out of a window, the more patient you will become. And because all good qualities take time to develop, patience is truly the foundation of every strong character. This is the core of my experience.

If you would take a suggestion from me, turn off your phone for today. Or what is left of today, depending on where you live. Sit yourself in front of the window. Look out onto the world. Envision yourself even as you are -- in the middle of it, yet sitting a little above it at the same time: so that you can see it all the better, but it can touch you all the less. This is your Free Room. Free of barriers, free from judgement. Free to think. Free to dream. Free to explore. That's where the real You starts.

For only once we stop listening to others, will we truly start to hear ourselves.


Login or Signup to provide a comment.

1 Comment
  • RachelMarie

    This is beautiful essay. Truly beautiful. You have convicted me, and I will turn my phone off for today. :)

    over 1 year ago