Sound of Silence

22 Jun

No, not Simon & Garfunkel. Side note: I have a *bangin’* version of that song a cappella.


I’ve been thinking a lot lately – sometimes positive, other times negative. It comes in waves. I love attempting to be witty and make people laugh. It’s especially gratifying when I can make someone who is trying to be quiet absolutely burst out laughing. Beezy: 1, Silence: 0.

However, when you think about it, silence is never really the enemy. I used to envision silence as uncomfortable, uninviting, cold – like the Russian villain in a spy movie. In the loud, Italian household where I grew up, if you weren’t loud, you were doing it wrong and the louder you were, the more right you were.

As a psychometrically confirmed extrovert, I’m always looking for ways to satiate my need for affiliation. I’m like a shark: if I stop moving I’ll die. I love meeting new people, hearing their stories, and telling them mine. I crave human interaction and feed off of others’ energy. I work in HR, after all.

Self disclosure:  I’m not always the chipper, upbeat, energetic lady that I want to be. Shocking, right? I struggle on the days when my optimism takes a vacation.  Some days are just better if I stay in bed and sleep the day away. I like to call them “Quiet Days.” I’m not such a fan of those days, but I’ve accepted that they happen and deal with them accordingly.

So, back to silence. It had always been foreign to me until I started having Quiet Days. That’s when I really started to appreciate silence.  I’ve noticed that there is a difference between being silent and having silence. It can be silent in an office environment where you hear the quiet tip-tap-typing of people trying to get their work done, the AC unit blowing, or hearing people walk on the floor above you. Have you ever been in a non-Metropolitan area with limited light and sound pollution? THAT is silence. Your inner voice seems like it’s screaming. You feel as though you’ve been granted super-human hearing abilities. You can hear your own heartbeat. Being aware of your surroundings seems like a vacation from the ordinary. While I usually draw my energy from laughing and being near another person, complete and utter silence seems to invigorate me – when I can find complete silence.

On days when I crave silence, the best place I have been is in the middle of my yard at home. I can look up at the stars and actually make out the constellations that I know. In that moment, nothing else exists – no other people, no problems, no emails waiting in my inbox. Just me sinking into the ground, looking for Orion’s Belt.

VanGogh knows what I’m talking about…


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