At the age where many girls are only beginning to dream of what life may have in store for them, Malala’s life has gone into a very different direction. And a challenging one, too, because Pakistani teenager Malala is not only a blogger, but also the foremost member of a politically aware new-generation of civil rights activists.

In a country where Talebans cannot tolerate women to have dreams and aspirations, her thirst of knowledge put her at extremely high risk. Malala was desperate after the Christmas break to keep her beloved school open. Her main concern about books was not having enough of them to read, all alien circumstances to most children in the Western world. We can only imagine the pressure of such difficult issues in her young psyche, still in a formative state.

I will confess to not having read her BBC blog or heard her name before her shooting, which has shocked me to the core. While she recovers, sustained by good vibes from thousands of well wishers around the world, I try to imagine in which ways her life will develop next. And I wish that, whichever political and personal choices she makes in the future, that she has the courage to stay true to herself, a real gift in difficult times.