Do I want to talk? No, not really. Do I have things to say? Yes, of course.
I do not like out loud. I do not enjoy, nor have I ever enjoyed, talking on the phone. Sometimes, I will talk to my mom for an hour on the phone, and sometimes the idea of forcing words to come out of my mouth simply feels too exhausting. The words are there, floating around in my mind; I can taste them in my mouth, while my tongue stays firmly pressed against my palate, guarding against a burst of confidence or energy that will push the words out into the open. The words feel so much easier to share in written form. I think them – the fully formed sentences, the fragments, the commas, the quotes and quotation marks, and in text form, they are beautiful. They are my things to say.
The arrival of texting and social media in my life has been a freeing gift. It freed the things I have to say to circumvent the firmly held tongue, and gives me the virtual pen my words needed to become verbalized. But not vocalized. Please not vocalized. My fear of speaking could be seen as shyness, reticence, snobbishness, coolness: maybe it is all those things, but it is also an utter anxiety and exhaustion. A bit like the Grinch with “the noise, oh the noise, noise, noise, NOISE!!”, I do not care to add my voice to the noise. But I have thoughts and I was taught that the most important way our thoughts can be formed is to engage. So, I tweet, blog, Facebook, Instagram, text, email, Snapchat, write, read, share… and I am engaged. But no, I do not want to talk.