I recently learnt that I have absolutely SO MUCH to say. My dear friend Jhinks tells me "Talk to me. I want to know about YOU" (and this is saying something. We've been really really close friends for the past 12 years). But by the time I get to the phone, it's silence on my end. I simply recycle old conversations, old pre-concluded ideas. What am I afraid of? Not making sense? Improper sentence construction? Bombing on the punch line?
So that's when I started to realise. That I'm most comfortable with a pen in my hand, a keypad beneath my fingers or a keyboard staring invitingly up at me. But that's not good. I love people. I love the energy that is diffused in the process of human conversation. Hands waving, eyes lighting up, sharing of ideas, using words, words, words. I love words. I know words. The written word is my weapon and unfortunately also my crutch.
During my internship, I met the most fabulous people. People who truly communicate, both with soul and word. My work guide (the coolest mentor in the world, I absolutely adore her) is one person who astounds me with her sheer gift of communicating exactly what I've been feeling for ages. When she talks about world music ('music of the world' as she says, is a better term), I can't help but simply bob my head up and down, eyes round with excitement because I'm in absolute agreement with what she says. The people here are honest and spontaneous. I've never felt so refreshed in a conversation.
I wondered what made me switch to listener mode. Is it my role as love counsellor? Is it my fear of appearing ignorant? The only person who I am the biggest chatterbox is with my mother. And with her, I'm exactly whom I find it difficult to be with: a self-absorbed, non-listening, dominating monologuist (is there a word?) But even then, I am not completely honest. The mental screening still takes place. The opaque bubble is soundproof.Fear of judgement, fear of appearing weak or flawed. Fear of trusting? Fear of revelation, of being exposed to reveal less than I believe I am composed of.
Ah, the futility of fear.
Enough! Conclusion: I'm going to practise the art of conversation. And that means not keeping my phone on silent, not shutting up when group members exceed beyond 2 and basically.....
being myself. The most cliched and yet the most fundamental aspect of being human.