The Dragon Post

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The Dragon Post

The Dragon Post

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How Fiction Has Helped Me Navigate My World and Define Myself

To be human, is to be in a constant state of change, growth and self-realization. We are always searching for who we hope to become. Fiction writing can help us understand our identity and cultivate a sense of belonging in the real world, it may even help us cope with the challenges life brings. 

I began writing fiction in the 5th grade when I often imagined existing in a reality somewhere beyond my actual one. Writing was a way for me to escape into stories where I was in control of what happened, how it happened, and how things ended too. 

In a quickly changing and often unpredictable world, ‘not knowing’ was my worst enemy, but knowing that I was in control of what happened next, gave me a sense of security. For example, the first character I created was Ling. She was a part of a fictional story called “The Four”. This storyline is about three cousins and their guide, Robey, who loved the idea of being in another universe, a universe where their mystical lives were real.

Ling is a Filipino-Chinese girl, like me. Depending on pronunciation, Ling means ‘dawn’ or ‘to rise’. Her name is a symbol of strength that quietly overcomes, kindly perseveres, and shines gently, warning the earth and its inhabitants as it rises. She is the character I see as the self I am when I am at my best.

 The traits we share are thoughtfulness, sensitiveness, and recklessness. Ling is thoughtful; in the story Ling helps her cousins with their new found superpowers by absorbing the overwhelming amount of energy they experience. Next, she is sensitive. The world overwhelms her. She struggles with her ethnic identity and being part of two different cultures. She wants to know more about both cultures but neither was acknowledged in her family. Thus she has a longing to connect with her heritage. Last, she is reckless, especially  in matters of the heart. She gives her heart fully and freely to those she thinks are worthy and suffers disappointment again and again. 

The three other characters Willow, Mai and Robey all symbolize lesser aspects of my own personality. Willow is highly intelligent, she knows how to adapt to different environments and people. Mai is extroverted but she has trust issues. She knows many people but no one truly knows her. The third character, Robey, represents guidance, stability and the parent I wish I’d had.

Through writing fiction I now realize I was able to process complex emotions, and some challenges of adolescence. “The Four” is a coming of age story. Writing it allowed me to create a preferred reality, where I was more in control of how life unfolded. This story, in a sense, became a real world for me. It allowed me to reflect upon myself, my identity and it gave me the inner strength to define my place in the world. 


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    Princes Hanah SubiaFeb 14, 2024 at 5:05 pm

    I really like how you used fiction to help you overcome the realities of life and how you created a reflection of yourself in an alternate universe where you can choose the ending. I think that is cool and amazing way to find out who you are.