My father was a lector, and a good one. While I was in middle school, I always admired my dad each and every time he went up during mass to say the readings. I saw the crowds of people so attentively listening to every word he said. I wanted that; I wanted for people to listen to me as they listened to him. I wanted to be that person whom people looked to whenever they needed something said.
It was during this time that the opportunity arose for my classmates and me to be lectors during the weekly student masses. At every opportunity they gave us I would attempt to volunteer, hoping in some ways to capture some of my dad’s ability. Zeal, unfortunately, did not translate to talent, and I struggled each and every time I went up to speak. For reading was not my strong suit, and I can tell you that even in the low-pressure classroom setting I would stumble over every word, piecing together phrases and seeming disconnected thoughts hoping no one noticed my trouble. For some reason I saw letters that weren’t there, always nervously mispronouncing words and inventing phrases that didn’t belong; even I knew I wasn’t good. That didn’t keep me from wanting it; it didn’t’ keep me from trying.
Eventually, I stopped being called on, and when no one wanted to volunteer except for me, they would assign the job to someone else. I got the message loud and clear, I wasn’t the one that they were looking for, my words were not good enough. I could only watch others as they got to go up there and speak, go up there and do what it seemed I couldn’t, patiently waiting for my time to come.
Even to this day, it’s my dream to give a great speech to a stadium full of people. To speak words that touch the heart of everyone in the room, to have them listen to me as they did for my father before me.
A year is an awfully long time. In the span of a year, I started this blog to begin working on a lot of aspects of myself, first and foremost, to find my voice. Twelve months, fifty-two weekly posts later, I want to demonstrate how far I’ve come and let you know that I still have a long to go.
My story hasn’t ended; my journey is still ongoing. My words flow faster and better than before but there is always more I want to say, and I find myself wanting to fall into the bad habits of yesterday. I sit at the keys of my computer often now, contemplating the sentence structure, the way I want something to be phrased, how long it takes me to convey my message. I look at words differently than I did before, and like learning to swim, I don’t feel like I am at risk to drowning in a sea of language anymore.
I realized this is going to be a life long journey. As I develop my style, the prose doesn’t feel so distant from me anymore. The words don’t feel cold and unfamiliar and each time I write they seem to take a life of their own and flow out of me as if they want to be said. Each character carries a little of myself with it, a little of my heart, a little of my mind. The strange thing is that no matter how much of myself I pour onto the page I never seem to run out. There is fulfillment I find from writing, and I don’t think I will ever find myself empty from it.
I have spent a lot of time now writing about the reflection I see in the mirror. I want to continue this but also set my sights on things are beyond me. So for the next coming year, I want to expand my reach to the world around me, to writing about what I see and how I see it. My hope is that I can learn to get closer to language and the words I write so that they will become a direct translation of what I mean to say.
So to everyone who has taken the time to read my posts, it means a lot to me that you have come on this adventure with me.
There is still a long way to grow and much more to say. So to all those who have been with me, let’s be on our way.
Thank you for reading all the words I’ve written, here’s to future, one that is smitten.
Here is a link to my first post, if you have time I would like to see how it compares to how I write now.
WORDS, MY ETERNAL STRUGGLE WITH LANGUAGE