My favorite story of all time is The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. I am fascinated by the raw adventure of the main character’s life, how he navigates the extreme environment and culture of South Africa in the time of World War II and Apartheid. He struggles with being different and learns from an early age that the world is a harsh place and that he must be strong and fight to survive and succeed. He sets his heart on becoming a boxing champion and vows to fight for justice in his life and his homeland.

The story is a message about learning about life the hard way. Often, a person doesn’t know what they’re capable of or what their mission is until they find themselves with their backs against the wall, causing them to seek change at any cost.

I began writing for this reason: I reached a point in my life when I didn’t know what I was living for. I was lost and lacking purpose and writing about the lessons I have learned from my experiences has brought me closer to understanding my mission.