Archives for posts with tag: consider your words

I measure a hike in miles. I think measuring my progress over time, as a person, may be easier to do in words.

I started this journey, here, in January of 2013, after my emotional wellness crashed hard at the end of 2012 (due to the combination of a traumatic breakup, a fairly (terrible) new relationship I’d gotten tangled up in, and a serious flare up of my PTSD in the aftermath of the infamous Delhi rape in December 2012). While I sought therapy, I also sought a more useful way of communicating and reflecting on my experience, and ended up here. Since that very first blog post, a rather shy introduction, I’ve written 2013 posts, in 7 years, with an average word count of about 700 words.

…I’ve written, right here, 1,317,956 words. Yep. 1.3 million (and a few more) words…

…I haven’t solved anything by doing so. I haven’t “fixed” myself, or the world, or made any noteworthy mark on society, as far as I know. I’m not bitching, I’m just saying – these are the words of one woman. One human being. One perspective. The word count will no doubt continue to grow. I manage about 187,000 words a year. I write nearly every day, even when I don’t write a blog post (I’m not even going to try to quantify all those words). I average 286 posts per year, which, while it doesn’t amount to reliably “every day”, shows some astonishing constancy. Still… I do miss an average of 79 days each year… about 6 and a half days per month, although I doubt there’s that sort of reliable monthly cadence to it. lol. It feels more as if I take a breather, now and then, for a few days, or when I’m out in the trees camping, and then shake that off and get back to it.

…I find myself wondering how many total words I’ve written, and spoken, over the course of a lifetime… a lot of words, no doubt. 🙂

I sip my coffee and smile. This morning feels good. That’s enough. 🙂

I’m sipping coffee and considering how difficult I sometimes find it to communicate. Asked a question, I often launch a dense volley of words in reply, carelessly unleashing metaphor, poetry, and unhelpful allegory. I thoughtlessly drown friends, family, and colleagues, in wasteful verbiage – regularly. Worse, it sometimes gets all tangled up with what I actually meant, and all manner of foolishness, humor, and bullshit, whereupon one or another takes something personally, or becomes frustrated. It would be comedic gold where it not so ceaselessly frustrating (for me, too).

I take a breath. I smile. Pull myself back to this present moment. Make a point to make room for self-awareness, self-reflection, and some kindness; generally, my way of speaking isn’t damaging anyone, and I am able to be considerate, appreciative, and of positive intent. I have, over time, learned to listen – mostly. It’s a practice. It became a bit easier and less frustrating, once I accepted that there wouldn’t be much positive reinforcement; people want to be heard, but they also expect to be, and are not very mindful that they, themselves, interrupt chronically, and “wait to talk” instead of actually listening – but most people don’t see those behaviors in themselves, only in others, and are notoriously disinclined to notice, or appreciate, subtle improvements in how well they are being listened to. (And, strangely, are sometimes very aggravated if they are listened to with such care that they are held to their words in some way…)

…I’m just saying; communicating using language is one of the fanciest things human primates do. We don’t do it very well, generally, and our emotions still arrive to every moment ahead of our ability to reason. We’re not as good with our words as we perceive ourselves to be. We are every bit as shitty at it as we think other people are. lol

I frown, suddenly, noticing an entirely unrelated aggravation; the spellcheck icon appears to be missing from the row of formatting tools in this editor… weird. I sigh and let that go. Hell,there is at least one spelling error or overlooked typo in every post. It’s almost a fucking commitment. I laugh and finish off my coffee. I’m okay with that. This journey is not about perfection. Being able to communicate is notoriously complex; in the grander scheme of things, spelling errors are not that big a deal. Meaning matters so much more.

I think over the words I’ve said and heard in recent days, and wonder if I’ve truly done my best to communicate skillfully, with care, considerate of the feelings of those around me, respectful of factual accuracy, and a willingness to “be real” – to be authentically this person that I am? Could I do better? I think about momentary awkwardness and resentful silences. I think about peculiar micro expressions. I think about being called a bitch, “playfully”. I think about tripping on my words and saying just the wrong thing. I feel the negatives tugging at me, and realize that this could become a spiraling rumination of frustration and insecurity… So, I also think about moments of laughter. Irresistible mirth. Joyful smiles. Appreciative exclamations. Softly spoken loving compliments. Witty retorts. Playful banter. Knowledgeable answers. I take time to consider the words, and the context, because they matter.

…Then I let all that go, because clinging to it isn’t helpful, and becoming mired in my thoughts does not ease my steps down this healing path. They’re just words. Just thoughts. Thoughts about words. Briefly useful, perhaps. Definitely not permanent.

The morning unfolds gently. I am listening to the traffic beyond the window, and planning a trip to the store for some groceries, before an appointment, later. The day has started well, although I slept rather poorly last night. Still… perfect is not a thing with which I need to concern myself, and this, right here, is enough… so… I guess I’ll finish this, and put a period at the end of all these words… and go seeking a beginning, somewhere beyond the words to describe it. 😉