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Without Borders: Experiencing the world through words

This is a blog about talent. It’s about how a talent, even kept under “seven keys” can be multiplied and bring hope to many people…

Nice to meet you, I’m Daniela, Brazilian and this is the story of my life. It’s about how the pages of a diary revealed my true calling and made me the writer I am today.

Nothing is by chance and life (in my opinion) is a process reserved for a purpose.

I started writing the pages of my story at the age of 11, in a diary that I got as a gift from my mother. A gift that gave me voice and freedom to express myself more clearly, using the writing as a resource.

By having a quiet borderline personality, I always needed to express my feelings and thoughts in a very particular way. I remember that whenever I had an intense crisis of crying and anger, I was called “dramatic” by my mother, and for this reason, suppressing my feelings seemed to be the best way to get along with my family.

The diary came as an escape valve in my life. I could put all my pain, frustrations, and feelings on it, in a socially acceptable way, without hurting anyone. And so I did. From the silence of my soul to my fingertips, my story was taking shape and emotion (and the most important thing is that I didn’t need to keep quiet anymore, my lines would speak for me). By internalizing too much of my emotions, I started to sublimate my pain by writing about it.

I remember staying late in the morning making up stories and writing about my deepest anxieties and questions about the world, about people, about relationships. And relationships have always been very intense to me. For example, I used to go from one extreme to another for idealizing too much a friend, and every time that this friend disappointed me, I became terribly devastated with the certainty that I could never trust anyone again. And this actually happened, I became a pistantrophobic person (always assuming the worst about people).

I always had the feeling that my emotions were too intense to be understood by others, so I started to enjoy silence as a coping strategy and isolation as self-defence. Another defence mechanism that I developed is known as “emotional anorexia”. It is a type of behaviour in which affective involvement with friends, relatives or partners is avoided or superficial. Thus, a person with emotional anorexia may feel uncomfortable with too much praise or displays of affection. This can happen for many reasons: fear of not being accepted, of being rejected, of being betrayed, of not believing to be a good person, etc. In this way, my need to transcribe my feelings into words increased, and through the ink of the pen nothing was limited.

The fact is, I have always been a highly responsive person to someone else’s feelings. This means that I can feel the pain of the other as if it were my own, often being unable to separate my own emotions from that of others. As a result, I end up developing endless ruminating thoughts, as if I were able to solve “all the problems in the world” with the “strength of my thinking”. It is precisely at that moment that the expression of my soul through a creative tool makes perfect sense. Like an empty page, my soul was filled with every sentence I wrote, and over time I realized in writing the ideal language to communicate my emotions. But it is not enough to communicate, you need to inspire (and be sure that there is a meaning to everything you are feeling). Because somewhere in the world there must be someone who also feels or thinks similarly as I do.

It was from this moment that I realized how much writing had transformed me as a person. From diaries, reports in letters, and paragraphs written at the bottom of notebooks, my writing went from an escape valve to a deep tool of self-knowledge. I say deep because as far as I displace what I feel on paper, it’s like I was peeling an onion, layer by layer to be able to see its essence in the end. And seeing the essence is facing the most vulnerable part in us (our traumas, fears, and limiting beliefs that sometimes hinder our growth).

The intensity that I once saw as a defect, today I see it as a creative potential to the service of emotional well-being. After all, talking about affection is talking about what affects us and how we can be more productive, considering Who we truly are and not what others expect us to be.

With that in mind, I researched websites of mental health organizations and engaged in a project to help with educational mental health content. Having experience in the classroom, I developed lesson plans for teenagers to educate about mental illness and with this decreasing the stigma. The curriculum included activities both in the classroom and at home, with parents. It was an enriching experience. It was like going into a time machine and talking to myself when I was a teenager.

Unraveling Reading, my first book.

I also contribute by writing about learning disorders for educational columns and in 2016 I had the opportunity to collaborate with a book on education and literacy for children, youth, and adults. Years later, in 2018, after completing a postgraduate degree in Neuroeducation, I published my monograph that had as its central theme creativity and neuroplasticity in childhood.

I currently work as a freelance writer of content on mental health, education, and learning disorders. And this was my sensitive way of finding my place in the world through words. The word that screams (even in silence), that reaches people (even without having contact with anyone), and that transforms (even if I don’t see them).

Time has passed since I touched that diary for the first time. That little treasure of mine remains until today, intact and locked with its pink lock, as it cannot be read by those who don´t understand what the heart is talking about.

I just have to be grateful to (my mom and to) that little diary for staying so long with me, listening to me, assisting me, encouraging me, and making me the person that I am today: a writer who sees in the word a purpose without borders.


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