One of the first things I learned in my childhood is that I talk too much. I learned that from my mother’s rolling eyes, my father’s admonitions not to interrupt (to no avail), and my sister’s friends paying me to get lost. Year after year, teacher after teacher wrote on report card after report card, “Nancy talks too much.” Over time, I learned that I could retaliate, get my own way, change peoples’ points of view, garner admiration or fury, or render people speechless, just by a bedazzling barrage of carefully chosen words. In high school, I joined the debate team, and by college a turn of phrase was second nature. I became a teacher and a graduate student, and honed my skills. Somewhere along the line, I realized that being a lifelong avid reader and writer (my first book was a handwritten and unpublished 250 page 6th grade work of fiction called Terri Bush and Friends) supported and enhanced my speaking skills. Eventually, I became a public speaker and an author. I have always been opinionated, but I learned in my thirties that some people valued those opinions. My pre-adolescent children would marvel that people actually paid to listen to me, and sometimes they would wearily advise me that I needed to go give a speech in order to let them off the hook.
The years have passed and I retired. My children are grown and gone. My husband is an introvert. My hobbies are my show rabbits, my flower gardens, and my two standard poodle companions, none of whom care a whit about what I think about anything. Thoughts and ideas that were once spewed from a podium or written in a book or journal article, churn inside of me and ferment. The pressure builds.
Over the years, I have made some good and some bad choices. I have been overcome with gratitude and devastated with regrets. I have lied and been lied to. I have accepted treatment that I never would have dreamed I would accept. I have behaved in ways I never would have dreamed I would behave. Recently, my big sister died – just keeled right over dead, like I knew she would. My dear 94-year-old friend who I cared for his last 7 or 8 years died, because of the medical decision I had agreed to make. I have had a crisis of faith and I have left my church. I have been disillusioned by our social institutions, disappointed by people, disgusted by the church, and gratified by heroes and strangers, alike. I have experienced real, bona fide miracles. One of my children hates me. The other adores me. These things take a toll. The pressure builds.
Over the years, I have learned that while I am “special” to those who love me, my thoughts and experiences and feelings are not unique. My point-of-view is often unusual. I read once that ideas inhabit a person and clamor to be expressed. Sohowaboutablog?