To Protect And To Serve

Jan is a friend I made on IRC (Internet Relay Chat), and though we've not seen each other face-to-face extensively (we've met a few times), there's a certain closeness I feel toward her. Most recently there was a certain change in her manner of language and tone that struck me by surprise. She used to type things out in full sentences, keeping to proper grammar and spelling, much like I do. This time it took me quite a while to recognise her through her use of mispelt (though syllabically correct) words and broken sentences. As you read this you might think that I look down at people who do not stick prissily to the omnipotent rules of English grammar. That is not true at all. I speak Singlish fluently and am proud of the fact. I have no qualms with people using colloquial terms or terminology unfamiliar to me. Yet the change in her unsettled me somewhat. It felt as if I had lost a friend with whom I could speak my mind, and in her place stood one without the necessary gravity to have the heart-to-heart.
After speaking to her and communicating my fears, I am ashamed that I had unintentionally judged her such. She is not different simply because she now chooses to speak different. But I cannot deny the fact that there is a change from the brooding to the more lighthearted. I have to remind myself that she is still yet young, and life abounds with much change before her. In some way I am glad that she has taken this first step towards jollity. I lived my whole life old for my age and often in thought (though my teachers swear I was daydreaming all the time). There are times I wonder what it would be like to break free from the mold and be unafraid to make a fool of myself. I have dreamt (and still dream) of performing in a broadway musical or singing in front of an audience, yet I am most comfortable when delivering speeches.
So I look upon Jan as an older brother would – with fond affection, and ever ready to protect. She has taught me something today – To be in awe of every human soul, and not let my own inhibitions transform me into an elitist who thinks himself superior.
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