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Issue 2.3    December 2020

silhouette with arms outstretched in nature

Audio: Akshitha Upadyayula reads

My words are an extension of everything that I am. 


My understanding of the world around me, and the confusion that surrounds it. The opinions that I voice boldly, and the ones that keep me company at night. The dreams that I dare to dream and the ones that I long to. The parts of me that are proudly on display, and the ones that may never be seen. Reflections of the thoughts I have carefully crafted and the ones that flow like water breaking down a dam.  


But my words are also an extension of who I can be.


They can travel to places that I don’t know exist and touch the hearts of people who know nothing about me. The memory of my words can bring tears to somebody’s eyes, and the sight of my words can comfort them. The story they tell can strike a chord so deep that others are compelled to share theirs. 


My words can provide a sense of comfort, a feeling of being understood, a thought, an awakening, an escape, a reason to fight back.


I know this because these are what other’s words have been to me. 


And it is my unwavering hope, that with the unjust, unforgivable, and unacceptable acts that happen, my words will find their way to someone.


Because I think that the power of my words, of all of ours, lies in the fact that once they are spoken, or written, or sung—we are giving them up.

And then our words will become whatever someone wants them to be, whatever they need them to be.

Akshitha Upadyayula, age 16, is a passionate and perceptive writer who finds her art in the heart of the little things. She enjoys early mornings, the rain, and listening to Sleeping at Last. Her family is her source of strength.

#WhyIWrite          #community

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