When Someone Asked Me If I’m Defined By My Words

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It’s been a little while since I’ve written here. I’ve been busy with Thought Catalog, which has been exciting. But recently someone asked me about my writing:

“Is it weird that you’re defined by what you write?”

And that question stopped me for a moment. I guess I never saw it that way.

Maybe I’ve always been defined by my words. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been someone who has lived through my writing. Before Thought Catalog, it was college publications, before that, my blogs, and this one, the earliest, started in 2011. Before that it was literary magazines and the Young Authors contests I would join every year. And before that, I would go to my elementary school’s publishing center with 25-page, fully illustrated picture books to have laminated and bound by the kind library ladies.

Words have always been a big part of who I am–but have I been defined by them?
Has my existence, my being, the person I am been based upon what I write?
And is that a bad thing?

I guess it was the way the person asked me that made me wonder. Maybe I haven’t been defined by my words, but I’ve let them define me. Is that the same thing? To be defined by something, is to give it power over you. But if you let something define you, then you are choosing to have it become who you are.

Have words taken over who I am. Or have I let them?

I’m not sure. I don’t like looking at my writing as something I’m powerless to. But at the same time, sometimes I feel my words take over. They spill out, they form into thoughts I didn’t know I had. They control my mind, in a way. But they are my mind. So where does this leave me? Am I someone who’s defined by my words? I think so.

I am a writer. This is a description I have embodied, a label I have taken on by choice.

My words are who I am. They’re the inner workings of my mind, my deepest feelings and desires, the thoughts I want the world to know and so desperately understand. They give me power, they give me strength, they show me that I’m not alone.

So hell yes, I’m defined by them. And I’m not afraid to be defined by them.
Because I am my words. And they are powerful.