When You Lose Your Words You Really Lose Yourself

Masha Koroleva

I’ve lost my words.

I used to be able to sit down at my computer, drink some tea to feel intellectual, and just go at it. Beautiful words, or at least what I thought were beautiful words, flowed out of me without a second thought. Now all I can do is write about how I cannot write. How heartbreaking is that? My words were stoppered up for too long, and now they are wasted and irretrievable. If I could only go back five years…

Even if I have lost the words, at least I can still use a well-placed ellipses.

Sometimes I think school took my words from me. I used them up on meaningless research papers that my heart was never in. Academics sapped my creativity. The machine of higher education used me up and now I have a degree but nothing else.

I blame and blame and blame, but really there is no better place for words than school. Those assignments should have pushed me, not broken me.

Maybe it was me, maybe I changed fundamentally. I became cynical. A lot of bad bitter things I suspected about the world were confirmed in college. The lies my parents told me my entire life came to light, and I couldn’t take it. I ended up telling lies of my own – to myself, my friends, and especially to my mom and dad. I thought I could punish them by twisting the words I had previously meant. Now my words are laced with contempt and betrayal, unbeknownst to them.

Perhaps I just grew up, and losing your words is part of getting older. Every minute you live, at least one dream becomes less realistic. If you’re working hard a different dream may come closer to your grasp, but that can’t take away the tragedy of the lost dream. Dreams are extremely time-sensitive, and there is only so much effort to go around. A juggler can only keep so many pins from falling. Some dreams are destined to fall, to become memories. Maybe my words are stuck in the past, and that is the way it has to be for another dream to come into focus.

Then again, who is to say that your words can’t evolve? Maybe this is just a dry spell – a very long dry spell – before it all comes back full force, better than before. Something will shift, and this sliver of my life will improve.

A small voice wonders, does it really matter? If all of us lose parts of our dreams, then this is just a fundamental part of the human experience. I have food, water, and shelter – am I really spoiled enough to tear my clothes over a perceived lack of creativity? There are so many things that could be so much worse. But a larger voice drowns out the small voice, arguing that loss of innocence is worth lamenting.

Going over the sequence of events leading to this moment is an important part of growth. Focusing on blame won’t solve anything because nothing and no one stole my words from me.

I lost them. Perhaps retracing my steps will help me find them again.