Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Words: The Freedom We Take for Granted

Image Credit: Toeiie
Hi there! I’ve put off this post for a while now. I kept getting the itch to write this, but I never got around to it because I didn’t feel like I’ve figured out the right way to say what I needed to say, but I think I’ve finally figured it out.

I’ve been reading a lot more lately, interviews, books, and it has gotten me to really think about words. I can’t decide if it was inevitable or not because though we all read the words on the page, I don’t know if we register what it means and its impact. We talk everyday and use words to communicate. Most of us probably write emails or papers, or something of a sort daily, and we absentmindedly read everything from billboards to newspaper headings on a daily basis. No matter how you cut it, words are all around us and very much a part of our lives.

I’m someone who blogs. A lot of people might think that’s really weird, stupid, just don’t get it (I’ve actually had someone say that to my face), especially because I blog about fashion, a topic that most already think is superficial and unimportant. I blog because I want to share my ideas, my love for fashion, empower other girls like me and maybe guys, too. I blog because I would feel so empty without it. I craft my ideas into articulate sentences consisting of none other than… words.

I was reading Lorde’s interview on Rookie the other day and it provoked an epiphany: I better learn to freaking choose my words wisely. I’m no expert on interviews, but it’s safe to say that if an interviewer asks the interviewee a question, every word is recorded and later edited to create the article. Seems simple enough, right?

It made me think, “If my interviewer wrote down every word I said in my answer, would I want those words in an article?” Now, I certainly don’t mean that in a snobbish way, but more like would I be proud of the words I said and the impression I’d make?

Though my confidence level has gone up quite a bit over the past few months, my vocabulary is nowhere near as complex and varied as I’d like it to be, so in conversations when I panic and desperately try to find the right thing to say, I tend to “uhm” and “ah” a bit too much to be perceived as sounding intelligent.

Lorde sounded so normal and down-to-earth, but she sounded so confident and I admired that so much. It made me think about how I’d answer questions in an interview and how I’d sound if someone was reading every word I said and how I could improve. I’ve done an interview before for a school, but that’s about where my experience ends in that department and I though I’m crazy proud of how that interview went down, I still cringe at the way I handled a few questions.

Things like this make me really self-reflect and want to improve myself. Oh, and of course, criticise the world around me. Yuli Ziv said something that really got me thinking:

“Years ago, people fought and died over freedom of speech. We take this liberty for granted quite often, but such free speech is still forbidden in other countries. Don’t continue to take this freedom for granted. You are gifted the option to express your thoughts to the world, so speak from your heart; talk about subjects that matter the most to you. If that make someone’s life happier, you’ve accomplished your mission to bring value to this world.” 
– Yuli Ziv from “Blogging Your Way to the Front Row”

In our generation, we take our freedom of speech for granted. We can publish a piece with the click of a button, tell our friends (and creeps) what we’re up to with a simple Tweet, and permanently put our face on the web through Facebook for all to see and friends (and once again, creeps) to praise. Things have really changed since we had to fight to say whatever suits our fancy and it’s time that we change our ways and start showing a bit of appreciation.

If there’s one thing I’d like everyone who reads this to take away from this post is that you should choose your words wisely. Not many of those around you will be able to tell exactly how you feel and exactly who you are without hearing your words, so it’s inevitable that you’ll be remembered for what you said. Make your words count and don’t waste them on those who couldn’t care less what you have to say. Speak your mind loud and clear and remember – if the thought isn’t too daunting – that your words are written in ink and you can’t take them back. So there’s some food for thought.

Care to share what you have to say?

Thank you so much for reading!

- J


  1. Wise post, Julianna! Though you might not be satisfied with your interview or some conversations, I think you've been doing quite good on your blog already :)!
    Eloquence is something that I strive for, and I internally cursed at myself every time I screwed up. I really admire those who speak confidently in front of people and say what they have to say in ways that people accept.
    For me, my way to show appreciation for the liberty and the words is to spread wonderful things around with them, after all, that's what words are for in the first place, right?

    1. Thank you for saying that, Melody. :) That was really sweet of you to say. Also, I think the way you show appreciation for our liberty and freedom of speech is lovely. :D - J