In the beginning…
In Year 9, pre-GCSEs, we had a term (semester) in English where we learnt about media. Early on in the term our English teacher set us a task: create a blog, and post on it once a week or so. That would be our homework for the next month or so, but because she didn’t check up on our blogs (there were at least thirty of us, we were all fourteen years old or so) I got away with just posting an introductory post, bestowing some sort of significance upon my blog and saying Hello.
And while allthingswordy had definitely started then, on the 5th of March 2013, perhaps The Beginning came a lot earlier.
I grew up surrounded by books. Before that I was surrounded by love. My parents used to have a rough marriage, and lots of bad fights. But I was their hope, their first baby, the one that came after eight years of marriage – a long time, even longer in my Bengali family’s eyes, to be without a child running around the house.
I’ve always thought I was the sort of baby that loved staying inside her head. My parents showered me with eight years of repressed love, and I cannot begin to describe how weird it is to look back on my baby photographs and become awash with the feeling of being smothered by a love I can’t remember.
I digress. I loved books – we had a small library just underneath our flat which I attended just as much as any book lover out there. Mum nurtured my hunger for knowledge with both children’s stories, but also Islamic books. I was a nonfiction-er from a very young age.
And reading all those books paid off. Secondary school was where I got hold of my calling. PSHE was fun back then, like Circle Time but sitting on chairs instead of the floors and only minimal ‘fruit-salading’. Chinese Whispers remained popular though. Every single “lecture” I’d give to my peers was dotted with “I read somewhere…”. Books gave me the courage to move forward, to harbour contradictory ideas, to love my humans so dearly because of their “inexhaustible variety of life”.
From books, and reading then, we got the blog. Allthingswordy is my masterpiece – I spent a solid three years on the blog, understanding what it means to love books and blog about it, meeting glorious people, lighting the match to my creative flame, having lots and lots and lots of fun.
As my blog grew so did I. When you grow up it makes sense that your sense of self-worth would shift from one thing to another. In my early years it was my ability read, during secondary school it was my ability to harbour ideas through my books, and during the productive days of Year 10 and Year 11 it was the growth of my blog, that great jump from a mere fifty followed to two hundred , now three hundred that made me walk with more of a spring to my step. I mattered. The work I had spent into making my blog what it was had started to bear its fruit. Soon enough though, my self-worth shifted again like the constant refocus of the camera lens, allthingswordy – my pride, my joy, and all the content I had made that was mine to adore was no longer enough.
in the middle…
Last year Something Big happened. Something that pretty much shattered me beyond compare. I was filled with emo vibes, confusion, and hurt. My brain was hurting and also extremely frazzled. Among all that, I was learning how to be myself when no one is looking – yeah, that sort of growing up. I was travelling on my own, had taken it upon myself to have a few responsibilities, and was still completely shaken up.
It took a year to recover, but now that I have (like it’s this resolute, it’s a cycle, I’m bound to lapse back into grief) I’ve realised that who I am, what “stuff” I choose to stuff the core of my soul with – has well and truly changed.
Throughout last year it became harder, and harder, to blog. So much so that early on this year I went through a lot of changes with allthingswordy (I apologise, long-time readers, for this), but no, I still couldn’t get back to who I was before the Something Big. I had lost my passion and zeal for blogging about books, as much as I love books I couldn’t work on the whole “brand” part of blogging and allthingswordy, sadly, was no longer who I was.
Yes sure, I’m 100% bookish, but I have bigger priorities now. My values have changed, and as much as I love books and have taken them in, that bloody Pinterest quote was right: the world is out there, and no matter my copious amount of reading I wasn’t prepared.
In the end…
I intellectualise my emotions. I like to talk about what I’m currently hurting over in the most academic and philosophical way possible. I have ideas, and dilemmas, and contentions – and sometimes I wish I was angrier, but then I see the benefits of kindness and hope to whoever’s listening that I can one day be so compassionate.
The Controversy was a long time coming. Throughout all these phases, I’ve always been one thing: myself. Whether I was blogging about books, writing poetry, giving you my latest two cents on Islamophobia…I was expressing my ideas.
And allthingswordy is no longer the platform I feel happy enough to express these ideas. I wanted to carve out an area on the internet that was for me, and for people like me, who sit on the fence a couple thousand times simply because picking a side goddamn hurts.
I am dramatic, slightly pathetic and very silly. But your encouragement over the years, be it face to face, or online, has been more than enough.