Today marks six years.
I bought myself flowers. I went to the bookstore. It was Easter, obviously, so this wasn't my main priority -- but it's what I thought about as I settled in poolside with a stack of reads.
Truthfully, I don't entirely remember what was going through my head when I sat down and created Words Like Silver. It never felt like a conscious choice. One day, I was just rolling. Before I knew it, it was who I was -- and who I am. People know me from here, they see a lot of me through here, and it never fails to be the passion project that makes every day just a little bit more worth living. I feel a little bit more purposeful. Even just talking about books.
I am "book girl." I'm the one staying in to finish a cliffhanger. I'm the one reading on my phone when I don't know anyone in the room. I'm the one people go up to and say things like, "You're the one with the Instagram, right?"
Throwing myself into something so esoteric, and with so much damn work involved, meant that I was placing myself on a path to always be slightly different. Which, in seventh grade, I never really stopped to think about. It can get lonely sometimes, sure, being so passionate about such a niche. Or staying up to finish a post instead of going out. But it's what I love, and I'm forever grateful to have that chance. To be here, writing, having spent almost a third of my life here.
I also forget, exactly, how much this little website has done for me. How many unreal opportunities I've had because of it. I've been to publishing conferences, I've gotten involved in a whole spectrum of literary endeavors. There's a book out there with a main character written based on my interviews. There's a book out there that I edited. There are multiple books out there that I've beta-read, or reviewed, or are now NYT bestsellers that I held in my hands as battered, hyped up advanced copies. Absurd.
Especially during transitional years or tough times (like now, when I've had a really horrible month), I'm reminded by how books make me feel alive. They're vivid, and they're real, and they remind me that there will always be people around me grappling with circumstances that can humble and awe me. Both escapism and representation.
Thanks for sticking with me through it. It's been a wild ride, and it'll continue for as long as I can keep it going. Even with new responsibilities this year, popping in has made me feel so much more like myself. Words Like Silver is where the heart is, y'all.