Sunday, December 13, 2009

"If I wanna think, I'll think in my head"

I'm making a bubble chart in my mind, trying to trace this thought back to its origin, to pin it down to a logical progression and track its development, but, this task is pointless. It's been pestering me for too long, it's layers of sediment hardened into inseparable rock, it's the knot of necklaces in my jewelry box that I just can't unravel.

If it were the truth, I'd define myself as "reticent" but it doesn't describe me literally nor figuratively. I share too much sometimes. Stupid things, silly things, things that don't matter. You have probably been held captive by one of my rants -- and, I'm sorry, by the way. My poor sisters, especially, hear every little thought that enters my head: the evils of Vitamin Water, the new CD I bought, the small frustrations of the day. I talk. A lot. About pointless things.

But when the moment comes where I have the opportunity to talk about something that's actually meaningful, my stomach seizes and my throat swells shut. For the longest time I couldn't talk about what God had been doing in my heart, because it was just too personal and too important to me. [Parenthetically, this is why I took apologetics. Apologetics is the most important individual event you can ever compete in. Do it. Please.] It takes me hours to draft heart-felt emails, and the rigmarole I have to go through to verbalize what I care about is often not worth it. It's just easier to keep the important things to myself. Give a testimony at the Christmas party tonight? Cue the nausea.

The weird thing is, I do want to talk about these things. I'm already in the habit of saying everything that's on my mind, why shouldn't I also share everything that's on my heart? Maybe that's selfish. I don't know. But I hate that I'm such a contradiction. I hate that I confuse myself.

I've kept a journal faithfully since I was thirteen, and inconsistently since I was ten, and I have a big Tupperware storage bin of these notebooks under my bed. I journal nearly everything. Every event, every conversation, every worry, every blessing. Sometimes. Other times I exist in a trance-like state where I absorb everything and it gets misplaced in the spare closets of my brain, or even more likely, my hand isn't up to the rigorous exercise of putting my mind and it's days worth of experience on paper. But is it weird, that even in my journal I edit my thoughts and feelings, polishing them a bit and giving them a positive or negative spin, tinting how I really feel so I won't be embarrassed by myself when I look back on them later? Even in my journal, something, something is stopping me from sharing anything too personal.

I wonder, if it's so hard for me to say the "important things" maybe it's because I'm not as "deep" a person as I supposed. Maybe it's a struggle to bring the important feelings to light because I haven't got any important feelings to share. While I previously regarded the shallow girl as only part of my true self, maybe it's the heart-felt girl who is the impostor. I don't know. It confuses me, so I don't like to think about it. I'm getting better at subduing the analytical part of my brain, I'm getting better at not letting my introverted feeling bother me.

It might help, if words meant what I needed them to mean. It might help if I knew how to master language to say what I mean. It might help if I could die to self and stop caring . . . so I could actually start caring.


Art said...

And yet, here you are, willing to talk about not wanting to talk about things that affect your heart. I am thankful for that.

I share too much sometimes, too, though I do think it's reversed in a way: I share not my opinions but my feelings. I don't even know if I have opinions. I haven't thought about it enough to know.


I do not think it is that you don't have important feelings to share. However, how should I know?

I think you've said you like comments. I wonder, though, if it's any good when I have no answers. I guess I comment to say "I hope the desire to please you does please you." I comment because I want you to know that I care about what you have to say... not because my commenting helps you understand yourself any better.

Caitriona aka Catherine said...

Thanks for being as honest as you can be. I actually read your blog and I am probably like some of the people who read my blog faithfully and never comment. Although, I think I have commented here. My faithful readers comment to me in person and those who are let's say under 30 either comment on the blog or say nothing at all. It is interesting the way in which the different generations interact with the internet. All that to say, keep writing Hayley, keep living life and remain teachable throughout your days, even if you live to be 100.
Being vulnerable leaves us open to be hurt but also to be loved and cherished. Praying that you would continue on the pilgrim highway as you venture through this life.

Lala said...

Oh my gosh hayley..i do the same thing in my journal and i dont know why?! Its like im afraid to say what i actually think, although im the only reader and im writing it for myself. I also censor it and take out names and stuff like i dont even understand that part because how will i remember when im like 80 and loosing memory? *sigh time for a little psychoanalysis

QueenOfLillyFlowers said...

This was good, Hayley.

Kay said...

Oh! Hayley! You understand!! This is so how it is for me too.

"Give a testimony at the Christmas party tonight? Cue the nausea."

Yeah. Exactly. Share my thoughts on tour with the rest of the intern team who I love and trust on Prayer and Share night? A near impossibility. I was the last last person to say something... But I did end up sharing and I'm glad.

"I wonder, if it's so hard for me to say the "important things" maybe it's because I'm not as "deep" a person as I supposed. Maybe it's a struggle to bring the important feelings to light because I haven't got any important feelings to share."

Ah, that is just what I wonder.

I think for me, I always blame my issues on insecurity. I am afraid people won't like what I had to say... or that it isn't important enough for them to waste their time listening to me. I definitely don't have this resolved, but remembering that it's not about me helps.

I love you. and thank you.