It started when I was five years old. I had learned how to read and I could write fairly well in block printing. One day I got bored and started exploring the closets in the house. I found a notebook full of strange swirly marks, unlike any of the printing or cursive writing I had seen before. It blew my mind.
I don’t recall if anyone explained to me that it was shorthand. I assume the notebook must have belonged to my much older half-sister but maybe it was my mother’s. At that time she still had a diary from her high school days so it’s possible that she had held on to a shorthand notebook as well.
From there I followed a trajectory which seemed unique at the time, but now I know others have followed a similar course: codes and ciphers, studying a few foreign languages, dabbling in Esperanto, inventing a few languages and writing systems of one’s own, collecting some rare books on these topics.
Maybe we are “born this way,” pre-destined to be fascinated by these things. Some quirk of brain structure perhaps. If you are one of us, welcome aboard.