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 be 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 just with quotes in them.) My ninth grade English teacher gave me one and I would just 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 into 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.”