“In restless dreams I walked alone,
narrow streets of cobblestone,
‘neath the halo of a street lamp.
I turned my collar to the cold and damp,
when my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light,
the split the night,
and touched the sound of silence.”
My Grandmother used to tell me that all the answers we seek lie within ourselves, but that we fill our lives with too many noises and distractions to ever hear the answers. She was also the one who told me, over and over again, to follow my bliss. I used to say that last one, over and over again, to everyone I knew. It became a slogan of sorts, and friends of mine would send me it written in letters, on a kitchen magnet, on the front side of postcards, and even as a theme to a music mix once.
I am not sure I ever truly followed my own, or my Grandmother’s, beautiful advice. Nor have I ever embraced silence and solitary moments enough to ever shut up the rattle and hum of daily living, and truly listen to my own thoughts, and answers.
But now I try to find those moments. I steal them if I have to, waking up earlier than the sun in order to nick a bit of time from the day, alone in the front room of my small house, leaning close to the window where I can almost feel the air from outside chill my skin. Or, I stay longer than necessary in the shower, letting the warm water trickle over me, like rain, washing away the stains of heartache and disappointment, confusion, and fear. I try to find that spot in myself that is not worried about money, survival, understanding, or what anyone else things of me. I try to find that spot in myself that is just that – myself.
I used to gauge my decisions on how they affected others, or by how others would perceive me. I put so much of myself out there to everyone I knew, walking around like I had been turned inside out, my insides raw and jagged for all to see. I let the judgement, whether uttered or unspoken, make too much of a difference in who I was, and what I did.
But, where is the truth in that? Where are the answers in other people’s biased opinions? And, in the end, if we fall and fail, will all those others’ opinions be there to help us?
In this quest to find out exactly who I am, and what I want, and what that actual bills is that I am meant to follow, I am finding my voice in the silences.