I’m outgoing, or at least I’d like to think I am. I can play the role well enough, anyway, the title character in a multi-act play that is set to run for eons off-Broadway. And I guess that’s all I could ask for before. But now… now I feel like I’ve simply been grandstanding, pretending to be the man who speaks his mind. When it really matters, though, what do I actually say?
I’m just going to come out and say it. I have a hard time saying things that matter. Maybe it’s because I’m always so concerned with how others view me. Perhaps I’ve gotten so good at playing the devil’s advocate that speaking what I actually feel has become a daunting task? Sometimes I blame my writing skills for the marbles in my mouth. Why say it when I can write it?
That’s gotten me into trouble before, though. Like the time I…
- broke up with someone over email
- explained my financial dishonesty over email
- wrote a letter to explain my verbal issues
- wrote a scandalous poem about a friend
- ended a friendship over email
When I can write beautifully crafted prose explaining myself, when I can go on for over 1000 words putting every essence of my soul into the written word that I feel will always save me, why should I make the insane effort necessary to sit down and talk to someone face to face? Well, because of the reactions to each and every one of those written missives above. That’s when I realize I’m a coward.
To write down words that I should speak instead makes me worse than the characters I write who cheat, lie, and steal to get what they want. They embrace their baser instincts. They rely on what has always worked for them in the past to get them through whatever they’re going through in the present, never learning from their mistakes, and hurting others in the process.
So I’m learning to speak, learning to open up my mouth and, despite the butterflies, get it out there in the open. So there can be feedback. So the other person can look into my eyes when I speak my truth, whether that truth be positive or negative. Other people deserve that much, if not so much more.