I am a walking pun: Ma Vi, my (extented) initials, mean “my life” in my native language, French. When I was 4 or 5, I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. I vividly remember holding  a Smurf’s comic and looking at the text bubbles:
– I want to read.
I was in first grade and barely knew how to spell my name when my answer changed to:
– I want to be a writer.
I was the avid reader, the talkative child, the endless pool of stories. Aged 12, I started writing my first novel; I wanted to be Belgium’s youngest writer. That dream lasted for a few chapters; I blamed my discouragement on not owning a typewriter.

I gave myself many labels over the years; some were mean but most were reasonable. Eventually, I added “mom” to the tags but there was one I struggled with even though it is probable (although not scientifically proven) that if you were to put all the words I have ever written end to end, you could travel to the moon and back.
I could not call myself that. Until now.

My name is Maria and I am a writer.