None of us has any say in how we start out in the world. Those of us lucky enough to be born to committed parents with stable lives are nothing more than that: lucky. I didn’t do anything to deserve my parents or siblings. I didn’t earn the comfortable house or safe neighborhood I grew up in. I didn’t ask my parents to fill my world with books. I just got lucky, and I’ve spent countless hours saying thank you. To the universe for giving me a chance. To my parents for building my world. To my teachers for enhancing it. But as I sit here thinking about the life I’ve had and the one I’m still trying to build, I know I have more people to thank. I would be a different version of myself if it weren’t for my local libraries and librarians. So if I haven’t said it before, thank you:
For letting me check out 23 Nancy Drew novels at one time and believing me when I said I was going to read all of them.
For giving me brilliant, accomplished, and enthusiastic female role models in a city that tried to tell me I couldn’t be any of those things.
For encouraging me to be vocal about the things I loved and to not be afraid of my own voice.
For telling me that reading my way through my summer vacation was something to be proud of and that I shouldn’t be ashamed.
For bypassing the renewal limit when I just wasn’t ready to return my favorite books.
For giving my best friend and me a place to hide from the high school that made us feel nothing but weird and unaccepted.
For not judging me for the stacks of children’s books I borrow on a regular basis.
Thank you for building paper castles, making silly hats, and wearing dorky costumes. Thank you for shaping my world and letting me know that growing up doesn’t have to be boring.