Unspoken: We can’t find our voice until we start talking


A word that contradicts itself before it leaves your lips

It’s moments to be said and heard

Empty seats on passing ships.

I could’ve written it down,

At least then I could erase it.

Instead I gulped it down,

Not deep, though, I still taste it.

Nothing to revoke, defend, or take back

Thoughts I never spoke

Climaxes fall flat

The undoing of most things, requires them first done,

But I can’t unspeak the words that I left unspoken.

And all the lonely heroes will remain unsung

For words that lay unuttered on the tips of tied up tongues.

Think before you speak.  Wiser words have never been spoken.  At least, I think not.  But how long is long enough to wait?  For me, any hesitation or deep thought usually results in a retraction of my unspoken statement.  Is that because it was really unnecessary, or have I just been conditioned to examine the superfluousness of my every move? How long should we think before we speak, especially if it just becomes a pattern of thinking and not speaking? As a woman, and a shy, un-self-assured, second-guessing woman, I find myself doing an awful lot of thinking before speaking.  It’s what I’m thinking about, though, that’s the real kicker.  I’m not thinking about what I will say and how it is helpful or true, I’m assessing how my personal value shifts in the eyes of others upon my saying this.  This is not to say I don’t talk, I talk. A lot.  Which means that I’m thinking about my talking infinitely, which of course means I’m not being mindful.  “Ah, screw it just say what you want,” my bitchiness usually wins out in the moment.  Which I vow to correct for the next time I see those people, “I’ll show them, I’ll be so fucking quiet.”

So I oscillate between talking mindlessly and thinking mindlessly.  How to be a mindful, talkative, thoughtful, bitch?  There are a lot of little hacks out there, but perhaps the most enlightening for me was one my mom taught me. She taught me out of annoyance.  I annoy myself to date with my ramblings. I can’t imagine those excited, non-punctuated, rantings of a child (cringe).

Much like my life, I lead conversations through poor planning and running into the next word or thought.  “Say each word all the way to the end” she’d say.  This simple rule is easy enough for me catch in the moment, and benign enough that I don’t feel the need to swallow my words out of shame for “doing it again.”

I could rack my brain endlessly over when I should and shouldn’t talk, what I should or shouldn’t say.  After reading The Alchemist, I used it to help me be better at this. “Eat when it is time to eat, and move on when it is time to move on.”  Talk when it is time to talk, and shut up when it is time to shut up.  I found my voice through the encouragement and listening of others, but I had to start talking first.  Starting talking was hard, stopping talking is harder.  But, I guess it’s time to shut up.

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