4.26.2007

Speaking Sabbatical

Every once in a while I get pensive. This is not tied to moodiness. It's not tied to any whims or anything other than my need to think without interference from other people's words. Anyone who knows me in life finds this preposterous. While at times I have a propensity for verbosity, I am also a thinker. And sometimes my mind is working so quickly and in so many directions that I need silence and time for reflection with only myself.

At least two years ago was the first time I enacted the speaking sabbatical. I was still in Charlotte. I'd moved back after graduation. I was working at Express and sending out resumes and cover letters like mad. I don't remember if this was the first summer after graduation or the second summer after graduation but I was feeling trapped and confused about my life.

It must have been the second summer. The first summer I was free and living off of my graduation money. So summer 2005. My mother was getting increasingly annoyed with me and she wasn't exactly my favorite person, either. I imagine it was hard seeing her progeny, her firstborn, in that state. I was working at a film company but for experience only. It's a fledgling business and I just wanted to do anything I could to get some experience so when I finally got an interview, the interviewees wouldn't ask what have you been doing for the last year only to hear me hem and haw. It turned out to be an excellent experience. But at some point, you have to make some money.

My sister came home that summer. She's only 19 months younger than me. That means there were 3 women under one roof, two of them still growing into themselves. The weariness that was that household. I stopped speaking to get some peace. I left a note on the kitchen table announcing my speaking sabbatical. I spoke at work minimally (I worked in the stock room) and only when I had to. Once I got home, silence. I've always been a talker and a writer. I would get in trouble for talking at school. I would talk, talk, talk during recess. My kindergarten teacher told my mom I was the only student she'd ever seen who could convince other students to PLAY school during recess. Then I would come home and talk and talk and talk more. On the phone to my friends to hours, to my mother's chagrin. To my parents when they got home from work. They never had to worry about me hiding anything or what was going on in my life because I was always willing to talk about it. I would perch on the edge of my mom's bed and chatter away.

But the summer of 2005, I finally had enough. It was freeing. For the first time in my life, I was silent. No talking, no television, just books, writing and my mind. It lasted for 3 days. I loved it. Once I started talking again, I wished I could enact the sabbatical again.

Now I don't proclaim sabbatical, I'll just retreat to my room. My schedule is so bizarre that whenever I'm in my room my father leaves me alone in case I'm sleeping. I think if I declared sabbatical on him he would be quite upset. My mother was overjoyed. Maybe that's extreme but she thought it was a good idea. She's borne the brunt of my talkative nature. My dad is a talker, too, so he loves it.

Now is one of those times, though. I've turned off my phone. I went on a walk around the neighborhood while listening to "Mama's Gun" on my ipod. I didn't go to the gym because I didn't want to risk being bothered. I needed some peace. My mind was still going a million miles a minute and I probably need to just put pen to paper and let it out but I write so infrequently now that typing is the best way to do it. I will get this figured out. I want to welcome 25 with open arms. Lucky you, the sabbatical does not extend to writing but if you call I may not answer and I likely won't be on instant messenger. Last time I think Kyle was exempt from the sabbatical, this time I think he's included.

11 comments:

the joy said...

I usually stop talking when I feel I'm not being heard. Sometimes the world needs the silent treatment.

DP said...

Take care of you darlin...We got time...we will wait.

CNEL said...

I agree with both of the above commenters.

A speaking sabbatical is an interesting concept. It could be so appropriate for so many reasons.

Mama's Gun huh, "Times A Wastin'" is my joint.

Honey-Libra said...

I talk alot perhaps I need to take time out to be silent and really listen...

Enjoy the silence :)

Sha Boogie said...

WOW.Kudos for the will-power. I think I tried that with fatty food once..it worked out for all of a few hours. That is pretty powerful (speaking sabbatical) you come up with some of the wildest things! Admirable...

Vdizzle said...

I fell you on that. I'm a big talker and my mom is so used to it, she thinks I'm sick or something when I go into my hole.

And "A.D. 2000" is my ish on Mama's Gun.

Toni Phoenix said...

I like silence. Its one of my favorite things. I find when I take breaks from talking, when I do speak, it has more meaning. You have less meaningless chatter in your life if you make that a common practice. You should try TV, radio, internet surfing sabbatical if you really want a clear head...

spchrist said...

Silence can be wondering sometimes when you really need to think about things in your life.

Leela said...

maybe it's not exactly the same thing, but i try to be silent when i am really angry because i always regret the hurtful things that i say to people out of anger.

Golden Silence said...

That is a good idea! I'm sure it takes a lot of discipline though.

Take care of yourself!

jameil1922 said...

the joy... don't it tho? always tryin to take over our lives.

dp... :)

cnel... its kind of fun, too. i love didn't cha know and orange moon.

honey... i'm tellin you. i think us talkers appreciate it even more.

sha... food is so hard for me too. i love it... mmmmmmmmm.

v... ain't it great?

toni... i work in tv. i turn off the tv when i'm at home sometimes but geez! no net either? that's a bit much. baby steps. lol.

leela... know what? this time my being silent was partially for that major reason.

golden... once you get to the point where you feel like you need to stop talking, and you don't want to talk to the people around you anyway, its surprisingly simple. most people are willing to leave you alone if you let them know you don't want to be bothered. most of the people in my life anyway.