I do not believe it’s possible to communicate verbally with complete honesty. Not always, and not if we consider ourselves “nice people.” If I am wrong, please tell me how that is possible. How does someone manage to say what they must at all times, under any circumstances while being 100 percent honest?
Now, remember that saying what we must say doesn’t always translate into what we want to say or what we should say. There are moments and times, places and crowds we have to consider before speaking our minds. It’s quite complicated and in many ways, extremely dangerous. Social media have come to show us just how sensitive people are to words and individual thinking. You speak your mind, and next thing you know, you are getting excluded and boycotted all around (look at Donald Trump, for example).
It is an odd time to live and communicate. Everything is out there. Just google it. It’s there, including most people’s opinions, ideas and even intimate conversations or habits. It’s sort of wonderful and scary at the same time.
The problem is, not everything people say is true, honest or adequate and politically correct all at the same time. Saying what we must while remaining true to the self has to be an art difficult to master.
Our culture has censored us since the moment we are taught to speak, let alone write. “Be nice, polite, respectful, consider the consequences and if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Yet, be honest” That is what at least my mother taught me.
For a long time I struggled with that message. It was difficult to tell someone your mother or father were not home, when you had just seen them in the kitchen a minute or two ago, or to say that the plate of food you had just been offered and forced to eat was delicious, when in fact you almost gagged to get it through. But the fear of the 360 degrees pinch on the arm or leg that my mother was famous for administering was greater than the fear of getting caught in the lie by God, the person you were about to lie to or even the self…
In the classroom, I also witnessed several times when an eraser came flying to silence those who dared to break the silence or even worse, question the teacher’s knowledge. I know it was different times and a very different method to discipline and keep control. Sometimes I wonder what sort of world would this be, if we all said exactly what we mean at all times. If we only had that freedom.
I don’t know if writing this blog will help me find the words that fail me on some of the most critical moments when I must speak them. I have pretty slow reflexes when it comes to verbal, live communication. I think too much. I almost feel my mother’s pinch, or see the flying classroom eraser rushing toward me, warning me I should always be polite and considerate about each and everyone in that room. My vocabulary modifies itself almost automatically and most words never make it to my tongue.
Maybe that is why It takes me a long time to develop or establish meaningful relationships. I admit I am not popular in my circles. I sense tolerance by many, but not necessarily genuine acceptance. I know some think I come across too strong and not very lady-like. They say I should have been born a man. Others think I am submissive and empty minded because I stay quiet (in reality, they only know the polite Maria, the Maria hunted by the ‘flying blackboard eraser.’ So chances are, those are the people I have chosen not to hurt or insult, if you really think about it.)
I have very few real friends, and really, I don’t blame the ones that choose to take off running, because it can be difficult to stick around after seeing either no reaction from me to a given situation, or hearing what comes out of my mouth unedited, specially when I am upset, hungry or emotional. It is difficult to decipher what I really mean, when I haven’t yet mastered the art of saying what I must say when I must say it. There are only a few amazing, smart and courageous few capable of standing my bad moods and to read me totally and completely.
I know some people are just waiting for that person they see behind the erroneous submissive appearance or defensive, almost aggressive, me to shed those layers and be more verbally honest. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is going to happen for me. Not that easy and not at this stage of my life. Habits are hard to break and I have been hunted by that ‘flying classroom eraser’ for almost 33 years.
Writing is different though. I don’t know why and I don’t plan to go on the scientific research to find out either. I just know that when I write, everything flaws better. I find the words and I write them. I don’t see the ‘flying eraser,’ I just see the words. Even if those words are not properly spelled or the grammar is not impeccable, I see the words and my mind ends up in peace, I simply enjoy the shapes of those letters that become words and then ideas and stories.
So there! I am staring this blog with the hope that some of us, those who need a place to speak out, vent or simply laugh about the menial and not so menial things that happen inside our heads, get encouraged to do so without worrying about what others may think, how society will view and judge us for thinking the way we do. No judgements. This blog is to express yourself at ease, enjoy your, or someone else’s, words as you write them or as you read them. This blog is to express what you couldn’t say but perhaps must have said. To Say What U Must even if it’s too late or too early. Just say what you must to make you feel right at a particular time. Or practice to master the art of really saying what you must.
Say What U Must.