...about slowing down and being me.
It's not all the time, though I haven't figured out the determining factors, but sometimes I'm the kind who, in person, struggles with what to say. My mind goes blank, with nary a question to ask, a dearth of topics to discuss. Or, it backfires, and I rush to fill silence with whatever inane thing is beating around upstairs.
It's not that I'm uppity - because I'm not, or that I'm not interested - because I am; it's that social settings make me nervous. Even just the small risk of seeing someone I know while running errands, the possibility of a chat with someone at my daughter's school or a phone call with an acquaintance, can turn me into an anxious mass of quivering innards. My thoughts consume me, and my brain locks up. Best I can tell, it's because I put too much stock, too much thought, into the whole thing. It causes me to panic inside, and then bubble up with forced words, in an effort just to get them out and over with.
I've often wished I could edit my verbal words, like I do written ones, so what I say flows beautifully, and my point is well-elocuted, every time. And maybe that's part of my problem: that I can't.
Or can I?
The slow and painstaking process of writing has begun to teach me something: There is no need to rush. Just as I might take a few moments with a carefully constructed sentence, I can pause to reflect upon what I'm about to say. Why not take a little extra time to figure out what is most apt? Because only mere seconds pass in the process, not creeping eons of time, as my self-consciousness would have me believe. I can take a deep breath, collect myself, and say what I truly want - instead of letting my impulses take over. [This is why, after all, I thrive in the written word, and through the filters and securities of the internet.]
I've been running experiments. I give myself pep talks, and slow myself down so I'm in the moment. I think. I respond. It's working well.
I'm trying to remember this lesson, and apply it with consistency.
How are you in social situations?
What has writing taught you?