Opinions are great. Thats why I started this blog in the first place. I wanted to express my opinions and be heard; be heard by myself and be checked by the opinions and voices of other people. That said, I have had a startling discovery this week: opinions are sometimes better left unsaid. I also learned that when you are really opinionated, sometimes its incredibly difficult to be quiet. The combination of these two things were like evil twin power rangers: surrounded by over-the-top theatrics and incredibly bad jokes.
It started at random social functions and conversations. Due to my opinionated nature, I was always the first to speak up, keep the conversation going; despising the silence where a anecdote from me could shatter it. I really liked this role and had some success: I made some people laugh, helped the conversation along and was great at parties, sometimes.
Then the other shoe fell. I stopped enjoying the sound of my own voice, and I think other people did too.
I realized that instead of paying attention to the other people in my life and responding to what they had to say, I was just waiting for my turn to speak. In addition, I must have stopped thinking before I spoke; my words became ghosts of what they could have been. It was if I became so entranced with the effect that my words could have, that I lost sight of what they were effecting.
So here is my grain of salt: I decided it was time to listen a little bit more. Every time I felt that I had a groundbreaking thing to say, I am going to try not to say it. I've found that someone usually brings it up if I just wait a minute anyway.
I recently was talking to a friend who probably loves movies as much as I do. He was saying that one of his pet peeves was when he was watching a movie with a friend and that friend would ask him what was happening. He would tell them to wait and see. Invariably, within the next few minutes, the plot would explain itself and all uncertainty would have been for naught. Sometimes, however, the friend would continue to talk and ask questions through the explanation, which was especially annoying to my friend, who knew that the answer was right in front of them if they would just be quiet and listen for it.
I feel a little like the annoying friend that is always asking what it going on. This made me come up with a possible theory.
A possible theory: by constantly talking, instead of listening, I was really just always asking and trying to understand. However, the answers that I was looking for were waiting in my own silence, and in the words of others. I think I forget sometimes that I am still learning and that I can learn a lot from the people right around me. The plot in life sometimes gets tricky and confusing, but I have a feeling if I just stop and listen, it might just become a little clearer.