I’ve always been drawn to words. When I was younger, I would even link words to numbers. Each letter would have a number and I would add all of them together for my family members’ names. I don’t know what it was that drew me to it, but it would make me happy to see things having meaning.
By the time I got to high school, my fascination had evolved into my passion for words–reading them, writing them and especially using them to comfort others… I started reading quote books. (Yes, there are actually books with just quotes in them.) My ninth grade English teacher gave me one and I would sit for hours on end, copying quotes into a journal. The quotes gave meaning to life–some of them were vague, while others were so specific that I would think the author wrote them with me in mind. In other words, I was your typical angsty, self-important teenager.
But now, it’s almost like the quotes I find online are what I want to say, the words I want to use, but they’ve already been said. I still add them to my Instagram story for people to see, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that these quotes are still my way of finding meaning in the world. To see a sentiment boiled down to a few words is incredible. To concisely state what you’re feeling or thinking with the use of syntax, structure and a few metaphors (for good measure) is awe-inspiring.
It’s amazing that humans can do that. We can take our most complicated, most personal thoughts and experiences and process them simply by writing them down. We can lighten our hearts by just typing the words out–it’s not perfect, but it’s real.
I guess our parents were on to something when they would tell us, “Use your words.”