Bachir Miloudi / Sputnik Photography
Books have always been central to my life. I was surrounded by them. Some of my earliest memories were going to the bookstore with my mother, like when the new book of her favorite series was released. It was inevitable that this passion for fiction and writing was passed down to me. I spent most of my childhood lost in fantasy worlds or scribbling stories in the margins of my notebooks. Of course, I wanted to share the worlds I created with others, but I was scared that they wouldn’t find my stories as interesting as me.
I can now proudly say that I am in my writer era (she’s a writer or whatever).
Lately, many people have embraced a passion for life as an “era.” You could be in your “emotionally healed” era by seeking therapy or prioritizing your mental health. You could be in your “idgaf” era by putting yourself first and not caring about what others think about you. You could even be in your “feral street rat” era by trying everything and having the most fun you can have every day. Your era is whatever you decide you want it to be.
Like most people, we seek to make sense of life by creating a narrative in our head. To those who are not chronically online, calling something an era may seem like a ridiculous form of self-delusion. However, being intentional with our life narrative is a chance for us to exercise our agency. It’s a way of taking ownership of our life journey, even the most mundane or messy parts. You decide when you start an era or when it’s done. Living in an era is at its core, living with intention.
According to a Statistics Canada study called “Mental disorders and access to mental health care,” more than 5 million people in Canada (about twice the population of Mississippi, United States) suffer from a mood or anxiety disorder. Mood and anxiety disorders are most prevalent amongst young people and are only set to increase. We are struggling more than ever and our perceptions of life events, both positive and negative, can influence the way we adapt to them.
I can say that I have had many eras over the course of my life, some even made reappearances. Many of my eras reflect emotions or experiences that many others can recognize as universal. My writer era started when one day, I decided that I wouldn’t write for anybody but that little girl I used to be. I chose to write because it is what gives me joy and it is the one constant in my life in an ever-changing world. And because it is only one “girl boss” writer era away from ending up on the New York Times Best Seller list.
This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 4 on Thursday, Dec. 7.