July 25, 2024

For the curious who asks: “What do storybooks mean to you?”
I answer, “An escape.”
For the curious who asks: “From reality?”
I answer, “No. From the impossible.”
For the confused, the escapee in me explains:
In reality, the impossible thrives. I am suffocated by its presence. I am blinded by the doubts. I am torn between unworthy choices. I am trapped in uncertainty and dissatisfaction.
In storybooks, the possible exists. I am able to breathe in its company. I am able to see hope. I am able depend on destiny’s fixed choices for me. I am able to go on a determined and ingenious path towards the desired fulfillment of a purpose.
During the times I seek solitude and solace, I turn to the wooden ledges holding up the different worlds, different fantasies, and different eras bound in pen and ink. Some, I have yet open. Others, I already have. Some, I choose to repeat. Others, I choose not to as once is enough. I reach out to any. One storybook. One chance. For every first turn of a page, my escape begins. For every turn of a page, I venture deeper into the unknown. For every turn of a page, I venture towards the surface then into a new world. For every turn of a page, I meet people. I get to have a new friend. I get to have a challenger. I get to have a significant other.
For every turn of a page, I see through the eyes of anyone. For every turn of a page, I understand through the minds of anyone.
For every turn of a page, I can be the protagonist; I get to be interesting. I get to save the day. I get to go on thrilling adventures. I get to be strong and stronger. I get to be a hero. I get to make it through anything.
For every turn of a page, I can be the antagonist: I get to be different. I get to be finally be understood. I get to be incredible. I get to be a villain. I get to fight for what I want. I get to be feared.
For every turn of a page, I express more: I get to voice out of anger. I get to shout out of happiness. I get to let my sarcasm be heard. I get to finally smile genuinely. I get to cry with no shame. I get to hurt without judgment. I get to love without fear.
For every turn of a page, time becomes my friend. For every turn of a page, I’m given the chance to savor the moment: I get to pause without anyone waiting for me. For every turn of a page, I’m given the chance to go back in time: I get to repeat scenes and conversations out of fun or out of need. For every turn of a page, I get to control my pace: I get to revel in new experiences.
For every turn of page, I continue to live. For every last page of another world, I dream.
As I deny and see reality as nothing more than just a dream, I share to the curious, “The best way to experience the impossible is to read.” As I accept and see my situation as a challenge, a difficult realization makes me ask the escapee in me: “What’s a better way to know what is possible?”
Live. — Hanna Joyce Gwyneth L. Racca