Thursday, January 18, 2018

When I Spoke

When I spoke to you last, I couldn't speak. So you turned away.

When I speak to you today, I can't stop. So you stop listening.

When I speak to you tomorrow, I will know how to make a conversation with you. So you'll stay.


I was talking with someone today about our progressions from quietness at a young age to more and more comfort with speaking (both in conversations and in public speaking). More than anything, it all takes time. I remember when I was in fourth grade, I went on a field trip with another school and someone from that school started talking to me. He assured me that he used to be quiet like me, too (he wasn't at all quiet anymore, from the ease with which he struck up a conversation with me); he meant to show me that I would develop out of quietness, too. But I thought, no, I can never be like him; I'm not him; he doesn't realize that I really am quiet.

But what is quiet? We should all be quiet at certain times, just as we should all speak at certain times. As you get older, you begin to realize more about yourself and you also begin to see more of the people around you. You become able to interact with others, even if that once was difficult. It isn't just with practice; it's with the change in perspective that takes place as you realize things about life in general.

I didn't become louder or more boisterous. But I did come to a point where I became comfortable. I can speak in front of a group because I care about what I am presenting and that I am presenting it to them. I can have a conversation with a person because I do want to interact with that person who is in front of me.

Am I like that other student now? No, not really. I'm not usually the one to start the conversation (in a social setting, that is, excluding specific work/volunteering situations). And I still don't know how to mingle. But I'm less bothered by those facts because I realize that we all have our areas that we work on throughout our lives. We're all continually learning and growing--hopefully. You can't focus on what someone else can do that you can't; you have to focus on ability, not disability.


When I spoke to you last, I couldn't.

When I speak to you today, I almost can.

When I speak to you tomorrow, I will know what to say and how to say it. Will you be patient with me until then?

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