Dream On

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and to change the world.
— Harriet Tubman

As I sit on my bed, scrolling through my inbox, a message appears: “Simran, I may not personally know you, but today, you may just have saved my daughter. After stumbling upon your blog, I shared the link with my daughter….she sat for 3 hours straight, reading through all your posts, just sobbing. You have done for her today what for so long no one was able to—you have shown her that she truly deserves anorexia recovery.”

Upon reading this e-mail, I automatically burst into tears of happiness. I feel this foreign, inexplicable sense of pride—proud of myself for being vulnerable, proud of myself for using my experiences as a medium to help others. Quickly, I print out the e-mail and tape it to my mirror, so now, instead of judging myself for my physical appearance, I will measure my self-worth based on fortitude.

Writing for my blog, Numbers Don’t Define Us, has made me realize that in the future, I want to continue to fight for social change. Asserting the message that we are more than numbers—that we have hearts, minds, and souls—lends me with an unparalleled feeling of worthiness, and I hope to continue pursuing this extraordinary feeling in the future. Many often dream about escaping to a far-away, beautiful island or being a star on television….but, my dream looks something like this:

“Thank you to all of you for coming here tonight, to the first annual Numbers Don’t Define Us gala, to support this meaningful, amazing cause. Thank you for helping me expand what started out as a small one-woman blog to a momentous movement. Thank you for supporting me in my efforts to show young women that they are so much more than the image staring back at them in the mirror, than the number of likes they receive on their selfies. When I was 17 years old, I had this dream, this burning, growing, distant dream, to help heal people suffering with anorexia all over the world….Today, this dream is coming true,” I beam at my audience.

As I stare out into the crowd, this still feels so surreal. The past few years, my blog has expanded to an audience of hundreds of thousands. The past few years, I have created an extremely visible platform, a place where those in recovery can connect by posting about their own experiences. The past few years, the Numbers Don’t Define Us calligraphy shop has raised thousands of dollars, all directed towards building a residential treatment center for adolescents on Long Island—a place that, from personal experience, I know desperately needs way better options for treatment. The past few years, I have helped hundreds of young warriors start on the scariest, most difficult, yet most worthwhile journeys of their lives—recovery.

Simran BansalComment