Let’s talk about looking for the “right” words. Lately, I feel as if I have constantly been searching – a search for purpose, a search for meaning, and now a search for words. Now that I am forging this new path as a writer, I feel as though I should always be writing – writing something pithy, deeply profound, humorous, or intellectual. However, for the past week or two, I haven’t found the right story to tell, antics to relate to, or a blunder in my thought process. Not that the shenanigans have been in short supply, but nothing story-worthy, I suppose. So the word search continues.
And then there are the moments where I’ve been in conversations in which the other person confides in me, sharing their fears, anxieties. I rummage through my catalog of compassionate replies but always seem to fall short of excellent, thoughtful advice. I’m not sure where I go wrong, but I just can’t seem to be helpful. Maybe it is that we are coming up on year 2 of a pandemic, and I’ve run out of optimism. Or it could be that I just am not as wise as I had hoped to be at this stage of my life. But to suffice it to say, I fear I am not necessarily the wealth of solid advice I thought I was. But, frankly, my listening skills feel as though they’ve grown – and that, I believe, is a good thing. More often than not, in the past, I used to find myself thinking of a witty comeback, a deep thought, or an experience I could tell while someone else was sharing their feelings of experiences. That is to say; I think I wouldn’t always be listening fully but rather be engaged in my thought process. Now, however, I stop and listen. Then, I formulate a thoughtful response, or, sometimes better yet, I say nothing and just let them vent. Venting can be a very cathartic act. Sometimes the listener needs simply listen – say nothing.
These are some of the words I’d like to close with. I began writing this post days ago when it was still 2021, and since then, we have shifted into a new year, hopefully, a new beginning – one that could bring hope, change, and the promise of a better, brighter future. But that is up to all of us. We have to choose our actions carefully, and our words too. We need to listen to each other and make efforts to work together. We have to stop. Stop everything now and again to breathe in the air, take in the silence (or the noise), and observe all that life has to offer. Even now – sitting with my laptop, a cup of coffee to my right, and the sounds of the city behind my head, I stop. I breathe. And I behold the magic of a cleansing moment.