that you wouldn’t want the whole world to see.
For centuries our only form of documentation was words on a page. In the age of technology, YouTube, selfies, boomerangs, and cell phone videos; it is the words on the pages of these books that I often ponder.
I procured my love of words from my linguistically dazzling and all-together remarkable grandmother. Her name was Lucille, but she answered most frequently to “Lou” or “Louie” in reply to the beckoning symphony of my adoring grandfather’s cheerful voice. She taught me so many things, for which I am perpetually thankful. One of the most important lessons I ascertained from her was that words on a page were more than simply ink on paper, but rather a written history that would last for centuries.
I vividly recall a statement she used to speak over me with intense frequency; “Don’t ever put anything down on paper that you wouldn’t want the whole world to see”. Now, this advice came during the mid 90’s, when writing notes and flipping them to your bestie in study hall was the most advanced form of communication on the market. I always felt these words were a protection for me during the gossiping junior high school days and the hardships that ensue there.
Maybe they were.
Yet, somehow, I know that they meant so much more.
I think today the deeper meaning for me would be…”Write your story, sweet granddaughter. Put pen to paper and share your gift. Don’t ever be afraid to let the world see who you really are.”
These shelves and all the contents within, were hers. This bookshelf was a custom-designed and treasured anniversary gift from her doting husband, my grandfather. With vivid clarity, I recall sitting on her living room floor, running my fingers over the glossy leather bound books and their gold gilded pages, carefully making my selection. I would sit right there on her floor for hours, exploring our nations history or getting lost in the lyrical musings of some great poet.
Now these books are mine. I will forever cherish them, as I do the memories she has bestowed upon me.
My charge to you is the same as my astute grandmothers was to me…don’t ever be afraid to let the world see who you really are. You are here for a reason. You are YOU for a reason. The time is now to stop silencing yourself. Stop minimizing yourself. Stop assuming people are thinking negatively about you. Embrace exactly who you are because the world needs who you were meant to be!