I am humbly overwhelmed by the response to “I’m the Girl With The Big Umbrella.” I am speechless.
For the record, I’m hardly ever speechless.
Whether through Facebook or conversation with my kids, my dogs, the gardener, the checkout lady at Publix, I am a compulsive communicator. I have a personal word quota. I’m estimating it roughly at around 10,000 spoken words daily. If you ask my husband, he’d estimate my quietest day at around 500,000 words spoken. He also single-handedly blames me for his hearing loss. We agree to disagree.
Since I decided to label my love for words, I’m taking it one step further. The type of “verbal exchange syndrome” I’ve been blessed with is unfiltered compulsive communicating. In effect, I lack that essential filter strategically housed between an adult’s brain and his/her mouth that prevents him/her from censoring the sentence before it leaves the mouth. Within those 10,000 – 500,000 words, I’d estimate that 20% of them involve thoughts that I should probably have kept to myself.
For example, in hindsight, I probably should NOT have:
- Posted last night on Facebook that my husband went to Whole Foods to buy ingredients for dinner but instead came home with a Whole Foods shopping bag filled with underpants.
- Told the man in my backyard who was building my tiki hut that he had a really cool tomahawk. (My husband immediately informed me that the tool I was commenting on is commonly referred to as a “hatchet.” My husband also informed me this man was Native American.). I’ve been living in darkness for the past week because I’m now too ashamed to open the blinds.
- Questioned every parent today in the “Well” side of the pediatrician’s waiting room if their child was, in fact, “well” (and then physically pointed to the designated “sick” side when I felt their argument was weak).
Compulsively communicating is not necessarily a bad thing. Too many relationships suffer because of lack of communication. I’ve personally ruined too many days being extremely pissed off at someone (and then spent too many hours mentally running through what I want to say to that person) instead of communicating with the person about the issue. In this day and age of instant communication, too many people suffer in silence with problems, health issues, or feelings of isolation.
Whatever your medium (face-to-face, phone, the handwritten letter or hiding behind a monitor), finding your voice is empowering. Connecting and uniting through a shared status post, be it negative/positive or silly/serious links you in to humanity. Often you find a village of virtual hugs exactly when you need it. Other times, you find an objective sounding board to slap some sense into you. My favorites are the ones when I can make someone smile. Amazing how powerful words are.
So despite people complaining of how it’s wrecked modern communication, I think social networking is a great platform. I know a few painfully shy friends who found their voice through late-night status posts. People who I sadly misjudged as anti-social or downright ornery have surprised me with hilarious or thought-provoking status updates.
Like my life, I’m not really sure where I’m going with this blog. Some of the ideas that float around my head are clearly not fit for publication. I’ll probably need to run every piece through a moderator to censor my filterless, previously unrestrained voice. Chances are, I’ll publish them anyway.
Yet today, because of YOUR words, I am speechless. (I actually wrote exactly 600 words. For me, that’s virtually speechless.)
If you feel you suffer from compulsive communication (filtered or unfiltered), or just want to chat, I’d love to hear from you.