I'm Aryana, and this is my odd corner of the Internet. I post blogs sometimes, I update my portfolio occasionally and I often question the successfulness of my resume.
Take a look around using the links above and don't forget to read my latest blog post, previewed below.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a good writer. I’ve been working at a local newspaper since May 2018, and some of my favorite stories published in the paper – both written by myself and other reporters – are the ones that required some sort of vulnerability, either from the author or the subject.
My favorite pieces of writing aren’t shallow, meaningless words that just talk about the goodness of the world and ignore all the bad parts.
Ever since I became interested in books and short essays or stories, the words that meant the most to me were the hardest to read. And ever since I started writing, the words I felt the proudest of required me to be the most vulnerable. Because of that, I’ve neglected to post some of my more vulnerable essays on this website.
I want that to change… if only slightly.
I wrote the following essay, “What Ned Vizzini Means to Me,” in December 2017 as a college admissions essay. I never published it anywhere else, online or otherwise, not because I wasn’t proud of my writing, but simply because I wanted to keep my guard up.
But as I state in my essay, and as I still truly believe, the most meaningful writing requires vulnerability. If no vulnerable writers existed, I don’t think good writing would ever be published.
Good words can change the world. If just one person is ever inspired by my own writing in the way I have been inspired by Ned Vizzini and other authors, then I’ll have already won.
If you’d like to know, here’s my story: I was never diagnosed with depression. I didn’t want to see a doctor. I thought I could handle it on my own. I didn’t want to talk to an adult about my feelings or lie on a couch to discuss my problems or take a pill just to feel okay.
I was never clinically diagnosed, but when I was 13 years old, people looked at me and said, “You look really depressed.” I looked down at my shoes in reply.
And I guess I probably was, even though I’ll never know for sure. I still don’t really know if I was just experiencing that stereotypical teenage angst or if I actually could have benefitted from seeking help. But I do know that most of my early teenage years were wasted feeling like hell.
When I was 13, there were three things that helped me feel something vaguely resembling happiness amid all the incessant misery controlling my thoughts and body and mind.
First, listening to music made me halfway happy. Not just any music, though. Music with a purpose, as I liked to define it. I didn’t enjoy all the hollow pop songs that cluttered the radio, so I searched the Internet and found musicians who sang about things I thought I could relate to. They sang about pain, about heartbreak, about loneliness. I found myself dancing to clever beats while singing along to lyrics that echoed my inner demons.
Writing made me almost happy, too. I had this journal, a spiral-bound, wide ruled notebook with a black cover. In this notebook, I wrote down all the thoughts that clouded my mind and sketched out all the images that engulfed my brain. Writing didn’t make my problems go away – not even a little bit. But with every word I wrote in that notebook, the hell in my head became something more tangible, something I could see and speak and scrutinize. The hell I felt became words I wrote, and within those words, I found myself realizing there lived a small glimmer of beauty among the pain.
And then sometimes, listening to music wasn’t enough. Writing down my thoughts wasn’t enough. Sometimes I couldn’t dance to my demons and sometimes I couldn’t find even a sliver of beauty in pain. So, when that happened, I needed a distraction. So I read books... Click to read the full blog post.