ReFramed: The Limitation of Words


Have you ever had a felt like you wanted to say more, but words cannot express your feelings? Well, that’s exactly how I feel everyday. I just wish that I can somehow speak without words.

In reality, I’m just extremely grateful that I have given the miracle of life.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” -Mae West

Other people are less unfortunate than I am. I consistently complain about my rotten life, how things never go the way I plan. Like how friends come and go, happiness rises and ends, and how trust is earned and lost.

“It was the best of times; It was the worst of times.” -A Tale of Two Cities

Now to come and think of it, life is black and white. Without them to balance each other out, the daily life would be complete chaos. The Yin-Yang shows the eternal spiral of good and bad. It illustrates how it is an essential element in daily life.

In America, we have first world problems. Ridiculous problems that we always whine about like:

  • Doing homework
  • Running out of phone battery
  • No internet to watch YouTube
  • Pencil running out of lead
  • Slow wi-fi
  • Bag of empty chips
  • There’s no more Coke, only Pepsi left at this party
  • Only have 6 iPhone cases, which doesn’t allow the possibility to change 1 for every week

And the list continues…

Other people worry about life-threatening issues like:

  • A carcinogenic atmosphere
  • Deadly diseases
  • Flood, Hurricanes, and other natural disasters
  • Starvation
  • No shelter
  • Disabilities

For us of the fortunate, let’s be grateful and count our blessings for not having to worry about these problems. People who are deaf and mute cannot even communicate normally. That leads to the topic of the limitation of words. There are a lot more we want to say, but we just physically or mentally cannot. There’s an external factor that is preventing us to fulfill our needs. For example, we teenagers feel this: During an argument with out parents, they wont let us speak. This happens every time. I get so frustrated because I know what I did and I feel like I can explain to them, but they wont let me. “Why wont you understand me; please just let me talk” runs through my head in a continuous cycle. Why do I have a limitation of words? Am I not good enough?

Anyways, words have their limits. It’s ironic because of the saying,

“A picture is worth a thousand words”

Some people want to use words, but they simply can’t. In response, they find ways to cope with their problems. That’s the creation of sign language started. Instead of using words, they use an image.

Watching people that physically cannot use words crushes my heart and here’s a really cute little video:

In class, we did an activity that consists of writing an essay/story that contains one of the following three quotes from the book, “A Tale of Two Cities”:

  1. It was the best of times; It was the worst of times
  2. _____ was on _____ way to dig _____ out of a grave
  3. “For I’m a devil at a quick mistake, and when I make one it takes the form of Lead.”

Incorporating the quote was easy, its just that the essay has to be EXACTLY 100 words. My heart shrunk when I realized that my story was 105 words long. A tear escaped my eye every time I had to eliminate a word. I felt as if I’m losing my child. (That sounds over dramatic but it’s true)

In the end, I wrote an story that I was quite proud of because I used descriptive imagery and details:

“Matthew honey! You’re going to be late!” My mother exuberantly hollered from the echoing kitchen downstairs, making vibrating pitches ring through my ears. The first day of high school is always a petrifying event to overcome.

“Wait! I’m coming!” I was on my way to dig every fraction of my confidence out of a grave. I rapidly threw on my jacket and raced down the stairs to go to a place I call, a dungeon. Monophonically, I took deep breaths to prepare myself for stress that would change the tips of my jet black hair to a silvery white color.

Overall, this activity opened my horizons and made me realize that 100 words might seem a lot, but in reality, it’s actually extremely little and limited. It taught me that limitations are always like a missing plank of wood on a bridge that potentially stops me from crossing it. I just have to believe that I can take a big step and successfully reach the end of the bridge.


One thought on “ReFramed: The Limitation of Words

  1. I can not count the number of times where I have wanted to say more but was not able too. Whether it be in a classroom setting or at home, I feel myself struggling with this limitation of words that you have written about. There are so many thoughts in my head yet so few words are able to come out and I am unable to fully express myself. However, I have come to learn that this limitation of words that works against me came from me, myself. I am the one who restricts my own words when I become shy or become afraid. I really loved and enjoyed reading your blog post. You have so many great observations and things to say.

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