The word resonated in my head to the point that it's pronunciation was altered. You know that feeling, when you say a word one too many times and it simply stops sounding like itself? That's what it felt like.
Reserved. Reserved. r e s e r v e d.
There was nothing wrong with the word or with what it connotates, but somehow, when used in relation to me, it was offensive. Not, '____________ist' offensive, but offensive none the less, and I just couldn't figure out why. I didn't understand why my conscious mind was rejecting something that was directed as an observation and somewhat of a compliment. I don't know why I felt uncomfortable in that. Reserved. It was synonymous with shy, a description I put on my own character when I described myself to strangers, or rather people who weren't fully acquainted with me. Reserved. It wasn't a bad description of me. If anything, it came rather close to accurate. I was reserved and I did keep to myself, always in some sort of reflection.. I was reserved. I am reserved. Am I reserved?
I came to realize that the problem was not the word itself, or the manner in which it was meant to describe my personality, but rather that it was a reminder of something I tried to run, or maybe hide from. Reserved shouted WEAK. DEPENDENT. INCAPABLE. SOFT. VULNERABLE. BRITTLE. RESERVED. It screamed all these things, but denoted none of them. Yet, it brutally attacked me with them and the memories that came along. It made the 12-year old version of me come out and go into hiding on my surface....and in that moment I truly was it. Reserved.
The matter of the fact is that the single utterance of the word made me realize that I am still on a long, winding and relatively endless journey. At 16, having reached the lowest point of my life thus far, I realized that I needed to get up from the misery I laid in, and ascend the steep hill that laid ahead, despite the amounts of times I rolled over backwards and started right where I had begun. Once I reached level land, something that felt stable and assured me that I would not find myself face first in a ditch of everything that left burn marks in my skin, I set up camp, and became the happy camper that was deluded into believing she had reached the top of the mountain; the end of her journey. But I was mistaken, and here I find myself again.
When it comes down to it, I needed a knock on the head to bring myself back to reality. I needed to realize that I was, in fact, mistaken about everything I thought I knew.
.....and that's all thanks to my being 'reserved'.