The Way to Change by Aseel, Palestine

We all encounter numerous troubles in life. The troubles that may end our lives or make our future. The troubles that may make us stronger and more patient as well as make us different people.

It was during 2015 and 2016 when I was 17 years old. It was my last year in high school. That year I had a lot of difficult moments and challenges.

As a student in her last year in school, feeling fearful was all too normal because this period determines the start of a new stage of our lives in pursuit of our dreams. At the beginning everything was okay until that month came around. It was April and we were getting ready to start the final exams. That month carried a lot of pressure. I was overly confused, nervous, and scared. Psychologically, I felt horrible. I didn’t know how I would be able to manage my time, nor what the perfect way was to prepare myself for my upcoming exams. Every day after I came back from school, I immediately entered my room to cry. I was convinced that I couldn’t pass the exams and that even if I studied, I wouldn’t succeed. At the time, the fear of failure inside me was bigger than anything. I had been absent from school many times and I always felt that I had to run away from everything at school, especially when my friends and others would ask me how things were going with my studying. All I wanted was just to sit in my room and think about how I could help myself get out of this situation.

During the third week of April, I was absent for two days. I had decided that I would not go to school and that I was going to surrender to my fears.

I thought that decision would actually solve my problems and that finally I would feel comfortable, but I was wrong. During those two days, I felt worse than any other time in my life. My mom and my sisters tried to talk to me as well as encourage me to make myself better and more confident. Also, my dear friend called me. We had been talking for a long time, so she knew I was upset and battling depression. She also tried to motivate me, to make me stronger and told me that I had to change my way of thinking. Her mom had given her a book as a gift for her birthday, and so while we were speaking she advised me to read the book because it might help me feel better. She brought me the book the following day, and so I decided to give it a try….

The book, ‘A Woman of a Special Style: The Five Habits of Successful Women’, by Karim el-Shazl, was terrific and so much more than I expected. I liked el-Shazly’s style of writing and his motivational words. He spoke about how a woman can be an effective element in her society and initiate other women to act. The women he spoke of faced life with confidence, determination and persistence, never allowing others to shape their lives.

All these words were stuck in my mind whilst I was reading that book. “If your life is not arranged,” he said, “the best thing that you can do is start to arrange it now.” I was hit by how powerful his message was as well as motivated when he quoted the German author, Goethe, who said “be confident and you will know how you live.” Everything in that book made me think a million times over about myself and made me ask, what am I doing now!? I had truly felt that I was just some stupid girl and a failure simply because of my way of thinking. If I stayed in this room and cry for a whole year, who cares? My friends will grow to be successful people while I sit here looking at them feeling nothing but regrets.

Was this it? Was is the time to change myself t? A lot of people have become great simply because they believed in themselves. This book made me think about who I am, what I want from this life and what I dream for. I had never thought about these things before that point.

I finished reading the book and at that moment I began to feel better as the negative energy started to leave my body and mind. These motivational words made me more confident. They helped me solidify my identity and become stronger. I even decided to give school another try and to make a dream for myself and never stop fighting for it. I wanted to be one of those women who challenged themselves to make a change in their life.

That horrible month ended with positive energy and determination. By the time exams started, I was ready to conquer those tests. This mindset, this faith and confidence in myself allowed me to excel in all of my tests. Finally, I realized how useful reading is for us and how it can make a simple yet powerful change in our lives.

One book can change the course of your life.

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