I am told this:
As an infant, I was self-soothing, content to coo myself to sleep with little intervention from my mother.
As a toddler, I explored the world silently, happy to stroke silk flowers in a vase in the corner for hours at a time or to just sit in front of a window and watch the rain fall.
As a young child, I spoke well, but only when spoken to. I never bothered to pipe up unless someone asked me what I had to say.
As a teenager, I started speaking, but I so intensely doubted myself (and therefore the interest of the listener) that, halfway through the story, I'd often loose my place.
I am told this because, by the time I went to college, I was the overly-loquacious loudest-one-in-the-room. The frequency of my chatter -- and the volume of my voice -- was a regular joke among my friends, and an occasional point of embarassment when I said something particularly embarassing.
I don't remember the change in my speech as being sudden, but those around me claim they do. So, though I can't recall the moment of the deluge, there was apparently a fairly specific point at which my verbal barrier** cracked, sending a flood of my words out into the world.
Something changed when I graduated. I once again became a linguistic miser, not so much choking back my words as doling them out sparingly. I don't mind this change. I think this is who I'm meant to be, and with the ever-present hum of the city in the background, I seldom crave extra sound stimulation. I've never understood those people who have to blare televisions and radios on all different channels and stations in all different places in the house just to feel like they have a little company. Quiet is such a rare commodity; accept it in its impure forms and cherish it when it's complete, I think.
My silence used to be easily explained: Being often overwhelmed by the number of words out there in the world. Being scared that I have a limited number in me. Fear that I'll say the right thing at the wrong time, and then have mis-used my chance.
But it feels different now. I feel trapped in my silence, like -- even if I could speak -- I'd still say the wrong thing. Or maybe not something 'wrong' as much as something 'other.' Access to thousands upon thousands of words, but none of them the right one. A verbal Goldilocks. I've become silent because, somewhere along the way, I've lost my voice. I miss the "what's that word? what's that word?" feeling of knowing that just the right phrase is just out of reach. And I feel like the corporate rhythms of business emails have robbed me of my sense of sound.
I've said before here that I feel like I have little to say. None of my thoughts are particularly illuminating. Nor particularly revolutionary. But still I feel compelled to write here instead of in a journal.
I think maybe I'm starting to see that what I need is the technological echo. It's not that I have something so incredibly pressing that I have to send out into the world. It's just that I need that little bit of acknowledgement that it has, in fact, been heard.
Bought one lottery ticket.