One word that would never have been used to describe me is quiet.
I’m a talker. Or at least I was.
I still talk a lot when I’m anxious. I feel the need to fill the silence but I’m also learning to sit more in the silence. Not every silence is an anxious silence. Not every silence is tension or uncomfortable. Often it’s okay to just sit quietly.
I’m learning that I don’t need to tell my story all of the time. I don’t need to speak every thought that crosses my mind.
I was told at least once, but I’m sure more than once when I was younger, that I talked just to hear myself speak. I was told that my voice was too much. I was given the impression that speaking too much was bad or wrong. Because of that I silenced myself when I felt like I was talking too long or running on.
This is a different sort of silence though. I’m just more of a quiet person now. I talk when I have something to say, but my thoughts are quieter, calmer. When I want to be heard I speak up, mostly, still not always, but mostly. I’m still getting used to my thoughts being quieter though. Sometimes it’s scary to have so much quiet inside.
For most of my life I’ve had what I call my “trains of thought” running around in my head. These were dozens or even hundreds of train tracks criss-crossing, trains barely missing each other, and often colliding. Constant buzzing of so many different thoughts that grabbing just one was nearly impossible.
I always had something to say. I always had something to talk about or something that needed to be said with some urgency because if I didn’t get it out right that moment it would be lost among all of the other trains.
As much as it was so wrong to be told that I talked to hear myself speak, in some ways they were right, only that I talked just to drown out the sound of my own head. Using my voice quieted the noise inside.
Now it’s quiet inside. Now there isn’t anything fighting to get out, nothing that needs to be said right now.
Now I’m becoming the quiet one. Sometimes content to just sit and listen, or just sit in silence.
Who ever thought that I’d be the quiet one.