When I grow up, I want to be an ear

2016-01-09 11.14.37

Mood: climbing

Google searches: not many, mostly following trails laid out earlier.

Random read of the day: Mark Manson. Always worth it.

 

Those of you who know me – who actually met me in person – know that I talk a lot.

Recently I watched Joan Rivers, and the way she spoke struck me. There was no slow progression, no measured diction. No: she barreled on, half through the anecdote speeding on to the next one, amusing as much with her breathless delivery as with content itself. Sure, she had a plan, but she was racing against her thoughts, trying to convey them.

I know the feeling.

I talk a lot, because I have a lot to say. But that’s not the only reason. I also talk when I’m nervous; I talk, because I’m in a hurry; I talk when I’m insecure and need to prove my intelligence (which I had drilled was my best quality, defining my worth). Yes, I am sometimes that person, who – instead of listening to you – composes her own flowery monologue in a rare moment of silence. I am that person, and I want to change.

Don’t be mean, now, at least I’m self-aware. Well, kind of 😉

People often assume I’m very confident, because I dare to talk. They also often believe I have no inner life. If I’m willing to openly speak of my sexuality and other things private, clearly there’s no more depth. Talking can be a smokescreen. Talking can be, if you’re not quiet by nature, an excellent way to hide.

I am a good listener when I manage to be. And this year is about listening. Not only to others, but also to myself. I want to listen to my body – I recently woke up to the fact that putting off exercise because of “no time” got me a back problem. I want to listen to my mind, because there is creativity in there, ideas that could get me further than yet another dead-end job. I want to listen to my heart. Stop bottling up emotions. Express them not as a torrent of words/tears, ambushing the hapless kind person who happened to listen, but in a measured, creative way. I want to be more self-aware.

I keep finding my journals and blogposts from years ago, and reading things there that are very smart and that I just realized yesterday. It’s hard to take that I already knew these things years ago. Am I stuck in place? I make notes I don’t read, attend a gazillion courses, create lists of music/books/plays, collect newspaper clippings. (Okay, I stopped with the clippings now, too much paper. But I did for years).

It’s like I’ve been writing myself love notes for years, but couldn’t be bothered to read them. It’s a humbling realization. Because chances are that I already have all the ideas, skills and possibilities, and simply don’t know it.

So when I grow up, I want to be an ear. And if you want to meet for coffee in 2016, I promise, I’ll listen better.

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