When I was younger, I was awed by your maths skills. Here I was, barely managing long division on paper while you unravelled complicated calculations in your head. In some ways, I was like you — happiest with my nose buried within the pages of a book — but in a lot of other ways, I wanted to be like you.
I tripped over those very words written by Hemingway and Dickens that you enjoyed. Where a scary situation had me running away, there you were facing it head on. And while I questioned my every step, you were the first one to believe in your abilities.
You made me laugh, too. My favourite moment of yours was when you snuck into the living room, playing into your family’s fear that the house was haunted. And the superglue in the hat? Classic.
I’ve been lucky enough to never resort to these methods in my own life (although maybe I should keep a bottle of superglue handy just in case). But what gives me hope is that you never gave up. In the face of the biggest bullies, you found a way. And although you found comfort through literary friends that assured you you weren’t alone, you didn’t depend on anybody. You knew that you yourself were enough — just Matilda.
Now I’m older, but you’re still the same (although I’m still terrible at maths). That’s a comfort to me because you’re like a friend I can always turn back to for reassurance. When things look bleak I remember the happiness and hope your story evoked in me, along with a purpose like a fire that can’t be extinguished. I recall those moments of laughter like they’re hugs from loved ones, and it reminds me of the reason I’m on my path.
Even if I myself am my biggest obstacle and bully sometimes, I trust that maybe one day, I’ll follow in your steps and believe I am enough — just me.
Happy Roald Dahl day! This is a special day for me as Roald Dahl is my favourite author — last year, I wrote a guide to his books and the year before, a little post on the friends I’ve found in his stories.
Let me know if you’ve read Dahl’s books (or plan to do so), and which are your favourites. Thank you for reading, and until next time!