By Kianna Cho
The mind is our greatest asset, one that is used every moment of our lives. Some, like myself, have found new purpose for our minds, as escapism from reality.
If I could, I would live in my mind.
There, I imagine a memory bank. A bookshelf of everything I’ve experienced, categorized by years. Its dimensions too big for my comprehension, I’m unable to see its end.
I might first relive some older, important memories that I’m scared I’ll forget.
Then, I’d again hear the voices and see the faces of my family that’ve passed from illness, in simpler times when I was unaware of their conditions.
I’d sit on the couch, across the one my grandma lay on, beside my uncle, the three of us watching television. My uncle would tell us of his dreams to buy a boat while I enthusiastically listened and chimed in. I’d promise to join him on one of his endeavors on the waters, though I’d know I can’t keep it as he never got his boat. I’d say it just for the sake of preserving the happiness in this memory.
I might also relive some memories I fondly reflect upon in times of needed comfort. Times in my early childhood that I recall to be perfect, void of any and all unhappiness.
Then, I’d again feel the New Jersey sun heat my skin as I ran underneath it, joining the kids I played with for those days that I was sure I would forever be friends with, who I’ve not seen since. I’d enjoy parties and field trips with classmates I’ve now grown apart from, in the years when I’d enjoyed going to school. I’d even just lay in bed and watch television, something I can still do in the present, but isn’t the same with my worrisome mind making it impossible for myself to be at peace.
Girls Write Now On the Other Side of Everything: The 2023 Anthology
Do you know what it’s like to communicate with your family across a salty ocean’s divide? Do you want the sun and moon to enter your home with stories written in embers? Do you seek voices that will punctuate the darkness? Welcome to the other side of everything. It’s the other side of silence, the other side of childhood, the other side of hate, the other side of indifference, it’s the other side of sides, where the binary breaks down. It’s a new paradigm, a destination, a different perspective, a mindset, a state of openness, the space between the endless folds in your forehead, hopes for tomorrow, and reflections on the past. This anthology of diverse voices is an everything bagel of literary genres and love songs, secrets whispered in the dark of night, conversations held with ancestors under the sea.
When I wish to venture somewhere else in my mind, I’d look beyond the bookshelf, where gateways to worlds from the depths of my imagination lie.
Many worlds come from books, games, movies, and shows already in existence, with myself as an addition.
There, I can be the things my child-self fantasized. A queen, a mythical being, or possessor of superhuman powers—the list is endless, my mind newly enriched with ideas with every day I spend online.
Other worlds come from my own, original thoughts. These worlds are nearly identical to my own, except I’m altered in them in ways that I think would make life easier.
There, I’m unafraid of how I’m perceived. I would change my appearance so that I’d outdo everyone’s standards for myself, and my personality so that it would be impossible to come off as weird or unlikeable to others.
Essentially, I’m all the things here that I’m not in reality. And like in my revisited memories, I’m disappointed once the illusion disappears and I’m again reminded of the way things actually are.
Though I try to refrain from living in the past or in my head for this reason, I find temporary happiness in escapism.
Writing this piece, I used a recommendation from my mentor. I brainstormed first, giving myself fifteen minutes to create a list of ideas. I then narrowed down the list until I found one that I liked the most and began laying its groundwork. Finally, my mentor and I revised my drafts until I was satisfied. In writing “My Mind,” I learned more about my preferred coping mechanism and its positives and negatives.
Kianna Cho is an 11th grader who primarily exercises her passion for writing by creating informational works or short, fictitious stories, sometimes accompanied by illustrations. She continuously practices her writing skills in hopes that she will someday publish a novel.