As a writer, I constantly have words floating in my brain. Words pinging the inside of my head, looking for the right way to get out. Sometimes they are lost or come out in ways unexpected, good and bad. Other times they flow out in a beautiful fashion. Those are the best times. Every now and then I might regret words, but that doesn’t happen often. I’m pretty deliberate with my words, often thinking far too much about what they mean and going back to explain them if they are misunderstood.
I was at a loss for words at the Aya Summit last week. By the end of the day on Thursday, there were tears, heart palpitations, and feelings of shock, happiness and empowerment all rolled into one. The bloggers in the room looked at each other and could barely speak. How do you explain the experience of hearing the words that explained exactly how those more than 200 Nigerian girls were kidnapped from their school as told from a brave young woman who escaped within 24 hours of the abduction? How do you share the brilliant and poignant performances of a homeless woman and poet determined to be a role model for young girls and the Hollywood actress staying true to her roots and telling African women stories through her play.
Sometimes there are no words, though I will attempt to recap my experience at the summit soon.
I’ve become more mindful of words over the years. They have so much power. Words. They can hurt you or fill your heart with love. They can comfort, make you laugh or thrust you into action. And then, of course, there are the words we are too afraid to say. I feel bad for those words, stuck in someone’s mind just itching to come out. I’ve got some of those words, but I try not to let them stay in my head for too long.
The best part about being a writer is when you find out that your own words have touched someone else. Knowing our words have meaning keeps us going. And writing more words.
I’ve experienced so many words this year that have given me much to think about, to celebrate and be thankful for. Meaningful words with meaningful people in so many different ways. They set the scene for the storylines of our lives.
And I thank you for reading my words.