Monday, February 11, 2013
The one book that helped them cope with a part of their life they never want to live through again. The one book that introduced them to a person (real or not) who they identified with so completely that the reader wanted them to cover for a nice cup of tea and a chat.
For me, that book was "The Diary of Anne Frank". Growing up in my house was really tough. Parts of my childhood were spent experiencing things no child should have to live through and when I entered the sixth grade and read Anne's diary for the first time I knew what it was like to be understood, and for the first time I felt completely inspired.
Obviously I was never a young Jewish girl in Nazi Germany hiding out in order to preserve my life, but I was a young girl hiding out in the nooks and crannies of my abusive mothers house in order to preserve my safety. Reading Diary of Anne Frank I felt that if she could still find hope in everyday life even when every day had the chance of being her last day spent in (partial) freedom, then I could find hope in everyday life even with knowing that I was scared of my mother, I wasn't sure if I would get dinner, and I knew going to school the next day might not happen.
I felt like Anne and I were meant to be kindred spirits of sorts, she was so rash and had a hard time controlling her mouth just like I did/do and we were the same age even. She would know what it was like to try not to make any noise at all and to wonder if life would be any more than just hiding out in cramped quarters and trying to make the best of it.
And so, as the years went on, I read Anne Frank over and over again. If I could't find something to read that was my default. I honestly think that it was the book that helped me survive that part of my life. Anne Frank died, but she left a legacy. Her diary not only helped me, but it has also helped hundred of people around the world, because we know what it is like. We understand her, and she understands us.
To me, Anne Frank is a superhero, and her Diary will be the book that I will never stop loving. It will be the book that gets me through lonely nights and boring days at work, and it is the reason that I have the never say die attitude that I have worked hard to develop all these words.