I’ve often wondered what would happen if I just said what was really on my mind. Probably some major natural disaster, a combination hurricane/flood/earthquake/fire named Kami. Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic. Just a little though.
I know people who do speak their mind, with very little filter, in some instances with no filter at all, ever. People are either afraid of them, avoid them, or talk poorly about them behind their back. I’d prefer none of the above.
Not saying what’s on your mind, not being direct can have some serious consequences. Beating around the bush is great if you’re a hunter looking for that lost quarry, but it’s not such a great thing if you’re trying to communicate with someone.
Is it possible to say, “THIS is what I want,” or “THIS is how I feel” without the listener misunderstanding or being offended by the directness?
Somewhere along the way I learned, or chose, to say things in a roundabout way. The classic, “where do you want to go to dinner?” question is always answered with a “I don’t know, where do you want to go to dinner?” That happens even if I know exactly what I want to eat and where I can find that meal. That happens with every little thing that comes up. Why would anyone do that? Overly concerned about how the other person feels? Poor self-esteem? Group dynamics? A warped sense of self? I don’t know.
I thought by now I’d have some of that sorted out.
Maybe that’s where the writing thing in me comes from. Writing is the way I say all those unspoken things. My best writing, in my opinion, is when I simply let my hands do the work. There’s no filter, no external voices saying, “you can’t say that!” or “what will people say?” It’s just me and the pen and paper. Simply me and the computer screen.
It’s just me.
Maybe that’s it. When I’m writing, I’m really only trying to communicate with myself.
That’s how it started out when I was young. My head was swirling with emotion and input from the weird world of teenage horrors. Writing it down felt like the only way to make sense of everything.
I could pour out all these thoughts on to the paper like so much sand and dirt and grit caught in my shoes from walking. Then later, I could look at the evidence, investigate the different kinds of detritus that made walking hurt, or uncomfortable or awkward. A chunk of rock would explain a blister; sand caught in my toes would explain the itchy dryness.
Likewise, having my guts spilled out in ink or pencil on the page let me think in a slow methodical way, about what it all meant and how I would act or react to it all.
Sometimes my only conclusion was relief to not have all that stuff in my shoes, all that stuff in my head.
Have you ever felt like there was so much stuff in your head it might seep out, or ooze, or explode or leak? That you might, actually, truly, be going crazy? I did. Sometimes, I still do.
I think some people cry and that takes care of that pent-up emotion. Some people vent by running or being angry out loud. Some saturate themselves with sports, or television or volunteer work, or any of a thousand things. Some simply say what’s on their mind, out loud and unfettered. What an amazing thing to be able to do!
Me? I simply write.
I write it all down. And sometimes, I let someone read it.
Will they think I’m crazy? Will they avoid me in the grocery store? Will they whisper behind my back?
Apparently, that doesn’t matter to me anymore, because here it is, my writing, being presented on a daily basis to the world, or to the twenty to forty people who “hit” my blog.
I can’t think too much about who reads my words and by extension, reads my soul, reads my mind.
It’s a frightening, thrilling ride.
This living out loud thing might be changing who I am.