Words Wednesday is a weekly tag (created by me!) where each week you share a word, quote, or phrase that you’ve come across over the course of the week. Content can be from books, movies, songs, or even you’re really wise and poetic friend. If you want to participate, share your post in the comments and I’ll feature your post in next weeks WW.

Quote of the Week

“Becoming nothing was the most terrifying thing she could think of- worse even than the fear of hunger, or pain, or any other suffering that could possibly arise from life”

She Who Became the Sun, by Shelley Parker-Chan

I started reading She Who Became the Sun last week, which was my first foray into YA books in a long time. I felt like the Young Adult genre wasn’t challenging me enough intellectually, and this book has wholly proved me wrong. Not only did I find this incredible quote (among others), but I’ve actually had to look up a couple of words to learn what they mean. Parker-Chan’s writing is entrancing and they paint such a vivid world that I’ve really been enjoying the book so far! I’m a little disappointed that it’s a series, because that means I’ll never truly be done, but I am glad I picked up the book.

So, why this quote. Honestly, I saw it, I read it, and it spoke to me. There’s a lot of discussion in the book about “becoming nothing”. The main character gets her fate read to her early on and is told that her destiny is Nothing. Her brother has a destiny, other people around her have a destiny, but not her. She’s destined for nothing, but the girl isn’t going to take this fate and allow it to kill her. Instead, she it solidifies the amount of perseverance she has within her, and ends up giving her a strategy for survival. She knows that death (turning into nothing) is the worst possible fate that she could experience. This is a starving, slowly dying child and she is possessed by a frankly inspiring will to live.

This quote pretty much sums up the theme of the book, at least so far (I’m on chapter 6), and that makes it a great fit for Words Wednesday. If this quote is something that motivates you, speaks to you, or inspires you, then you’ll be able to relate to the main character that Parker-Chan created.

Obviously, my life is not as life-or-death as the main character’s in She Who Became the Sun is. For me, becoming nothing doesn’t mean starving to death, but that doesn’t mean that Nothing isn’t still a possibility for me. I am not facing imminent death, but I am facing imminent nothingness. For me, becoming Nothing means not leaving a legacy after I am gone. I want to make a measurable difference in the world that will leave it a better place than I found it. I’m not talking about grand gestures like curing climate change (although that would be great!), I just mean that I want to do my best to impact the people around me. If I can change the lives of my friends and family, or perhaps the life of you, reader, then I will have lived for a reason. All the hard work, the struggles, the times where life seemed impossibly hard- all of that will be worth it if I can make a difference somehow. This quote sums up the power of hard work, and that need to avoid the fate of Nothing.