“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Is there more beautiful a word? I fell in love with it when we first met. I, a gangly, bookish 7 year-old and it, a misunderstood jumble of letters with polarizing meanings.

But to me, this word embodies everything I strive to be. Daring, bold, brave. Adventuresome and passionate. This one word gives me the courage to hurl myself out into the world every day, in the efforts to make a difference. A difference that my parents would be proud of.

Because, you see, audacious is a state that I can be, simply and only because of my parents. It is they who taught me the beauty and wonder of being bold and fearless and brave. They who instilled in me the mindset of 'daring mighty things'. They whose life long sacrifices are directly responsible for my privileged position. All of my life I have endeavoured to be courageous in embracing the unknown and the uncomfortable, in defiant spite of the butterflies residing in my stomach, because of two courageous individuals.

So today, as I stand on the cusp of infinite possibilities, I promise to continue look each day, each challenge, each opportunity squarely in the eye and say, 'Welcome'.

Never will I succumb to meekness, shy away from the good fight, or slip silently through life.

I will be heard. And above all, I will be...


— Avni Patel