I always knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. When I was in first grade, somebody – I cannot remember who – asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I promptly answered, “A writer.” I didn’t even have to think about it. I loved books. I loved paper. I love pencils and pens. I loved words. Anything that had to do with writing, I loved. Talking frustrated me. Nobody understood what I was saying. But when I wrote, everybody understood. It was magic.
I remember when I was learning to write, my teacher was walking around the classroom, and she stopped at my desk, and watched me for a few minutes. Then she said, “Good, but Danielle, your spaces are too big. Try to write your words closer together.” I thought, “Seriously? Who cares how big my spaces are?” Well, apparently, she did. So I had to watch myself from then on.
I was quick to realize that I was living an interior life. I was my own best secret. I live my life inside of my head – which is why I choose solitude over company. People don’t get it. Some try – they come close – but I don’t think they really, truly get it. I don’t see myself as disabled the way the outside world does. I see my thoughts in my head, and those define me. People aren’t their bodies. They’re the souls inside the bodies.
So what do I want to be when I grow up? The short, easy answer hasn’t changed in 23 years. I still want to be a writer. I AM A WRITER. What I wanna be is published, not just on the internet, but in books. But that is only part of it. The rest lies in helping others, helping to find a cure for the horrible diseases that are lumped in the childhood cancer category. The rest of who I am lies in my heart. I want to love, to give, to help. My absolute favorite Disney movie is “The Little Mermaid.” I love that song “Part of Your World.” Most of the time, I don’t feel part of this world – I want more than I have, because I know this body of mine isn’t me – it isn’t all of me. I have God to thank for that. He is the reason I am here today. He is the reason I am who I am, and he is the reason why, tomorrow, I will be who I will be.