I am Yana

The essay presented below is ranked First in the first age group – Essay category, within the competition “Girls with dreams – turn the page” of Amalipe Center and Zonta Club – Stara Zagora Author: Yana Valentinova Marinova, 14 years old, 7th grade student at the 75th primary school “Todor Kableshkov”, Sofia


I will be Yana. As everyone knows me – I do not give up easily and I have a good heart. Somewhere ahead of time I will meet that boy I will love madly. I hope he loves me madly and truly too. We will write messages at night, share revelations, “I love you”, “forever together”, “I’m crazy about you”. The time will surely come when we will know our hearts, our souls, our bodies. We will cross borders, we will try the “forbidden fruit”.

So far, this is happening to every girl, to every boy around the world. There is nothing shameful, because these are some of the most beautiful moments in my life, in the lives of all teenagers, of all adults. But…

I will not be the mother Yana at 14. Not at 15. Not at 16. Not at 17…

I will not give birth to a child to raise a child.

I will not give up my dream of a university.

I will not give up becoming a doctor to treat my grandmother and all the sick people in the neighborhood.

I will not give up my dream of becoming a defender of the weak and ignorant.

I will not marry.

I will not be locked up at home and will not let my husband not to allow me to return to my usual world.

I will not leave my friends.

I will not be illiterate, weak, vulnerable.

I will not be a bad example for my future daughter.

We will not stay hungry, poor, dependent on our parents.

I will not lend a hand for alms.

I will not bow my head to the difficulties.

I will not give up. I will not believe in obsolescence and traditions that have turned women into servants.

I will not stop dreaming.

There will be no children’s wedding!

Because I am a person who will make a clear choice for her better life.

Because I have the strength and courage to find the right path for my life.

Because my mother supports me and believes that a good education guarantees happiness.

Because my elder sister is an example to me, and she is a student.

Because my body, soul and future are mine personally.

Because Dad would have been proud of me!

Marriage at 15 ?! Marriage !! And you go to the bucket.

I’m Yana.