Words have been my protectors for as long as I can remember.
They've silently guarded me throughout life.
As a child I learned to adapt to a new world and new words. They became my allies and friends without even realizing.
They helped me connect with people in a foreign land, but also support my mother bridge the gap when her words didn't translate.
I felt a sense of worth. I could be of use. I could make a difference in our lives. At 9, I felt I was more capable than others around me. My fears of the unknown submitted to my growing vocabulary.
Words became my shield, my weapon.
I met my first group of bonded friends at school and fortunately they introduced me to a whole new dreamland where music could be heard through words. Resonate through each letter. Where past and present could meet. I delved in books of all types.
We would pass them on after finishing, hungry for the next adventure. My eyes roamed those pages as I was transported in another reality. My imagination took flight every day. Never tiring.
Those precious moments had an impact on my interests. My vocabulary also changed with time. In an environment where 'slang' was the normal way to communicate, I cherished each full word and sentence. I was seen by some as 'stuck up' or 'snobby'. I just couldn't conform to blend in at the expense of my words. It was a silent rebellion.
They sustained me at my darkest through poetry and fiction. Ideas would emerge at the oddest times. It became normal to carry a notebook to scribble my fleeting thoughts. Afraid they would disappear forever if I didn't find a permanent home for them.
Looking back I was blessed by the friends I made at that young age. I was surrounded by lovers of words. We would talk about them, exchange our thoughts and revel in new stories.
As I grew older life would pull my attention on other things. I would find it harder to focus. My positivity would dim. My world seemed a little greyer the more was thrown at me. It became harder to connect with my imagination, relieving the mundane and sharp edges of life.
I've only recently reconnected by delving back. I read my old words. I hugged them tight as if I was meeting long lost friends at a reunion.
I decided to consciously take time just for me. Begin by writing about anything and everything.
Slowly the stiffness began to dissipate. My misty vision cleared up and I could see colours again. My imagination revived and words flowed out. My confidence grew and my positivity returned.
I have rediscovered not just words. I rediscovered myself.
Photo by Hadinet Tekie