Have you ever felt the progression of going from being a vocal and free spirited individual to moving towards being placed in small compartment where you are silenced?
Sometimes we move into that compartment on our own while other times people place us in a tiny and cramped small space. Our voices carry too much. We don’t think hard enough on the words we say before they fall out of our lips.
One of my favorite cliches is: It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
That one liner really fit me for a very long time. I could spew out whatever ran across the brain – realizing later that maybe I should have worded it differently, said it at a different time, or gasp never said it at all.
For an extensive amount of time I felt like I had no voice. I kept words and thoughts tucked inside me in a compartment where they would drive me nuts. I would ponder them and decide it was time to say something but back off. That was when I recognized I had a little talent – writing poetry.
All the words of rage, hurt, anger, and even joy could come out of a number two pencil that I placed in my hand. I would never vocalize the words but I would write them and tuck them away into another box.
Then there came a time when I decided there was no good in boxing away feelings and thoughts. It was time to speak. I had spent a fair chunk of time listening to other’s words on and in situations. I did not appreciate sugar coating in sour situations. I also did not enjoy ferocious words in times when they weren’t warranted.
But my boxed up words were boxed up for so long that when I decided to let them out I found they could be a bit brutal and sometimes a little too telling.
If you don’t know me then you don’t know of my Southern accent and my smug tone that mixes with it. I carry a bit of non chalance when I talk. I have that molasses effect when I am in a situation where I don’t give two rat’s tails. You can pretty much put a big hat on me and give me a mint julep and every director who ever had the task of bringing a Southern Bitchy Belle to life is enamoured with me. (There are a lot of us like that down here.)
But if it is a situation that is ripping at my heart then the hat comes off and the julep switches to a fiery bourbon. I spew. My slow tone speeds up and the words that fall out of my lips are fear infested leaches ready to suck the life clear out of the person in front of me.
I have a problem of caring too much and spitting daggers all at the same time. This flaw has moved me from one box to another.
In the past six months I have been moved from a refrigerator box to a trinket box. This comes from a recipe of hearing those ancient words of, “If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all,” and also hearing, “I will not be talked to like that anymore or I’m leaving.”
Moving from a box to a tiny compartment has been difficult and maybe even an ebbing of self. I thought that being able to vocalize after not doing so for so many years was growth. Now I am on a constant reminder from others that is actually a terrible trait when it comes from me.
I am not eloquent one bit when my heart is bleeding out. I guess I should say, my bad? I lack composure and my emotions roll out of me like tide during a hurricane. This is frowned upon….I have learned.
As I sit in this compartment of shhhh I learn a few things, including and not limited to:
Stay out of it – Though my convictions are strong on certain subjects my opinion is not wanted. I spent years keeping my opinion to myself so I should just retro back to it A.O.K. right? In some situations I have and I have actually grown from it. In others, well…I feel like it is making me more miserable. Alas, we cannot upset the apple cart! My words could be the bump that causes all the apples to topple over and be bruised and not worth even taking to the market. So I keep quiet as hard as long as I can. This has to be a teaching of Buddah. I am making a note to channel him right now.
Write again – Having to keep my internal feelings mum means I don the pen a bit more. It’s healthy and cathartic. It is a positive release. But considering I will never submit it to a publisher to be rejected just brings me a little unrest. I now realize how many amazing authors were alcoholics. Good thing I keep my consumption low.
Edit – When I keep my mouth closed around a straw in an unsweet tea glass then I give myself time to edit my words. I can play out ways to make them less brash and more acceptable. I equivocate this to the whole give everyone a trophy ideology. Though I feel hard speech is necessary at times if I can tone it down then I can make everyone feel like a winner…even if they never came to practice or touched the turf one time the whole damn season. Is that even effective? No, but it has it’s place I guess.
Being boxed up has made me look more at little ole me. When you are in a tighter space then you can see yourself without any free space and you tune in on what happy is and what miserable is. Sometimes in these tight spaces they blur together.
One thing I have learned since pinning myself up or allowing myself to be pinned up (still on the fence about the choice and the force of placement) I have learned one thing to be true. I cannot control the wind. Though my words can stir the speed and maybe direction they will never, ever be able to stop a gust – they can, however, make it stronger or help to weaken it but my words will never truly control it. My words or lack of words can have an impact of making stagnant air more so or causing a slight stir of particulate matter. But outside forces from this mind and voice box will continue to conduct high and low pressure.
While I sit in this box I am reminded of the power of being quiet:
So I will continue to dwell in this box. Sipping on ounces of water and planning the placement of pineapple decor – focusing on the pretty so that maybe God can work a little harder in and on me. I figure He is a on a war path to soften my edges and make blunt my daggers. And I imagine He’s preparing me for the next box I will move to.