Why I Shall Live

I shall live.

I shall live, even if no-one cares that I live.

I shall live, even if I do not understand anything about the world, except that I am aware of it, in it, and can change it.

I shall live, even if there is suffering and pain and bad people who do bad things.

I shall live, even if I do not understand anything about life; all I know is that I feel and breathe and move and feel, and that is enough.

I shall live, even though I am so excruciatingly sensitive light glancing off a white surface pierces my eyes like a blade twisting deep into the sockets, harsh words tear like bloodied hooks through my flesh, and the world crushes me, each morning, each minute, each second, under its thumb, until my body is just a mouth, screaming.

I shall live, even when I want to die, and everything is hard and wrong and so awful it feels like nothing will be right or good again.

I shall live, even if those around me think I cannot do the things I want to do, or try to make me think I cannot do the things I want to do.

I shall live, even if I make myself feel bad about myself – others cannot make me feel bad, only I am in control of how I feel and think.

I shall live, even if everyone I loved died and I was left alone and a part of my heart was forever sad.

I shall live, even if every second is a struggle against the nameless dread.

I shall live, even if I must exercise, sleep well, shower, eat nutritious food and adhere to a writing schedule when I do not want to.

I shall live, even if no-one on the earth understands me, and never does.

I shall live, even if I never catch the eye of a man, never get married, never have any children.

I shall live, even if every second is a bittersweet agony.

I shall live, even if I suffer, and work, and suffer, and work, and then die, alone.

I shall live.

I shall live because I am here.

I shall live, because I just spent the last twelve hours awake and intermittently crying and thinking and am now writing this, which is not crying or thinking but living, and is good.

I shall live, because others lived before me, and if not for them, I would not be here today.

I shall live, because others are living right now.

I shall live, because I can find happiness in a life of simplicity and mindfulness.

I shall live, because people before me invented phones and lamps and laptops and rockets and paper and writing and animation and the internet because they lived.

I shall live because there are a shelf of books in my bedroom corner written by authors who lived, and movies on my laptop made my directors and their teams who lived.

I shall live, because Art exists, and artists existed and exist and will exist.

I shall live, because I have a brain to think with, a mouth to talk with, hands to work with, a heart to love with, and am healthy and young and smart, and therefore can do things.

I shall live because I can think and see and feel and smell things.

I shall live, because there is beauty in the world, and I want to experience it and contribute to it.

I shall live, because other conscious minds exist, whose lives can be changed by my living.

I shall live, because I can write, and will become better, over time and practice.

I shall live, because I have literary and creative talent, and will write bestsellers, and will be remembered and appreciated for my books after I die, and make people I do not know and perhaps do not yet exist feel some happiness.

I shall live, because there are books I must write, and it does not matter whether it takes five, ten or twenty years or fifty, whether I cry or despair or laugh or pull out my hair while I write and revise: all that matters is that I write, let what lies inside me explode onto the paper, and get that writing into the hands and minds of other people who exist and shall exist.

I shall live, because in my mind, I can see another human holding my book and reading it, because I can see my books lined up along the shelf next to other beloved writers in libraries and homes, and knowing that is my future makes me happier than I can bear.

I shall live, because the world needs more Asian writers, and my future success may inspire other minority writers.

I shall live, because the world needs more books with Asian and minority characters – to help validate and show the beauty of pink blossoms, in a world that venerates only those of the blue variety.

I shall live, because there are people in the world who need food, love, comfort, shelter and delight, and therefore people to supply and create them.

I shall live, because I can meet someone to love and marry and have kids with and be happy with.

I shall live, because I live in a world where there exist libraries and flowers and and sunsets and poetry and warm beds and fruit and kindness and love.

I shall live, because I love writing, even when it is hard.

I shall live, because I love imagining things, and daydreaming, and pretending I am someone other than myself in strange and odd and unlikely situations and worlds.

I shall live, because I believe in the books waiting to be written inside of me, believe in the characters waiting for me to meet them, believe in the imagery and complexity waiting for me to be delighted by them, and thus believe in myself.

I shall live, because I love living, even when it is hard.

I shall live, because I love reading.

I shall live, because I love.

I shall live, because I care.

I shall live, because I can.

I shall live, because I live.

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