I used to be afraid of silence

Some people are afraid of silence. I used to be one of them. The deafening sound of nothing…or a clock ticking seconds away…or the blood rushing in your own ears…or just your own heartbeat hitting your sternum as you have a panic attack. Yep, I’ve been there.

I used to want to crawl out of my own skin, to run away from myself, to find some place to hide from the silence, from the nothingness of it all. But it doesn’t work that way.

My strategy would be (in crowds) to talk incessantly about anything (usually an inappropriate subject) because I was so nervous and had to fill the air with something, some sound. Maybe that’s why I try to always have music playing. Silence at a party or in a crowd meant that someone was judging me (whether that’s really the case or not). Silence when I was alone meant that I’d have to look inward and reflect on myself. Who wants to do that?

I try to be more silent now. I try to just listen and observe. People who have known me for years now think there’s  something wrong with me because I used to be so boisterous. Maybe it’s because I’m more comfortable with myself. Or maybe it’s because I’m uncomfortable in another way. Maybe it’s because I’m older and I’m okay with silence. Or maybe it’s just because the world is filled with so much crap that I don’t want to contribute to that.

I’m not perfect, and I still fall into old habits sometimes, talking incessantly, but I try to be more like Mia Wallace.

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