“We must be careful what we pretend to be.” -Kurt Vonnegut
How many times have you sat across the table, or in the passenger seat, or on the phone, and been screaming the exact words you want to say in your head but for some reason just been unable to get them to come out of your mouth?
I’ve always been a vocal person (my parents will tell you I started talking one day and never stopped). I raised my hand in class. I tried to be honest when my friends asked for my opinions or advice (and sometimes when they didn’t ask). I’ve told off more than a few people who I thought deserved it.
So why are there those times when I know exactly what I want to say, but seem incapable of speaking? And why do those always seem to be the most important moments, the ones in which the future of my life hangs on what is said next?
Is it because the things and feelings that matter most can’t really be put into words, even when you think they can? Because the words that get caught in your throat, come from your heart. Because sometimes the truth is easy, but more often than not it is cold, harsh, and hard.
But in the long run, the truth is kinder when it is given sooner. Honesty is the best policy, right? Even when it’s the hardest. And it’s so much crueler to allow others, and yourself, to live in a lie when all you have to do is open your mouth. So why is it so difficult to just spit it out?
I have so much respect for the people who speak their truth, who force those difficult words from their core and through their lips and out into the world. Those people across the table, and on the other end of the line, and in the passenger seat who bite the bullet and just say it:
“This isn’t working and it hasn’t been for a while.”
“I just can’t do it anymore.”
“I need help.”
“I still miss you.”
“I love you.”
“I’m here for you.”
I have tried so hard to be one of those people. The older you get, the harder the conversations become- the more permanent the outcomes and the more hurtful the truths. But if you’ve ever felt like you’ve been on the other side of the scenario, you know how much worse it is to postpone the inevitable.
So I will keep striving to be one of those people, to come right out and speak my truth. Because the lesson I come back to over and over again is: life’s way too short. Too short for lies, too short for omissions, too short for regret.
Too short to waste another moment biting your tongue for anyone else.
Stop all of this stupid guessing and hinting at and casually dancing (and texting) around the subject. Here’s to honesty- to being blunt but not rude, truthful but not harsh, and quick but not hasty.
Here’s to a much happier way of life.