When I was a kid, I secretly desired to be an orphan. Not that I didn’t love my parents wholeheartedly but according to all my favourite books, orphans had more fun. The Secret Garden, Pollyanna, Rebecca and all the Grimm’s fables where children’ parents are never mentioned obviously made a big impression on my young and already twisted mind.
Now that I am all grown, I feel privileged at having both my parents still walking the planet (and no, I never did mention my secret wish to them) but some thread still connects me to the unformed mind of my childhood. In an effort to create a more interesting life for myself, I used to invent elaborate stories at the center of which I was invariably the heroine: a princess, an astronaut (the moon landing made a lasting impression..), a marine (thanks to all the American movies). I would go through my day describing details and people and situations in my head. The problem is I still do. My life has been plenty interesting and I am not doing it anymore to keep myself entertained or to create a more fascinating alter ego – I think I am just in love with words. And stories.
If I meet someone, I will minutely detail her or his appearance/clothes/demeanor in my head. Sometimes, especially while walking or driving, I will create a story around a person or a place. No wonder I have no photographic memory – my poor mind is busy focussing on the images that my imagination feeds it rather than what my eyes see.
For the longest time I kept this minor detail about myself to, well, myself for fear of being looked at funny. I thought I was maybe a bit unusual but was scared that people would read too much into it. The truth is that I was never too sure why I was doing it until I came to the realization that I simply love words. Their sound, the way they can be strung together to obtain different sounds or different meanings, the history they carry in their little letters. Words keep me company, whether I am thinking them or reading them black on white.
As a result, I take words far too seriously, finding meanings in people’s sentences that might not be there and expecting to be understood the way I exactly meant it. And I love coming across words I have never seen before and embarking on the trip to the dictionary. Well, the secret’s out: I have finally come clean in all my “nerdiness” and if you still think I have a few screws loose it’s ok but please don’t post your comments…