I was born into a family of storytellers. I was lulled to sleep by my father’s soothing voice in which I dreamed of a safe world he conjured just for me. I was fascinated by my grandparents’ stories of an era long past gone, intriguing my impressionable mind. My cousins were the most animated bunch, giving life to the bedtime stories we read. Growing up, words were my refuge in a world that was so big and confusing. I devoured them like I would with chocolates.
I believe in the magic of words. It is an oddly fascinating universe altogether. It can give life to inanimate objects. Even a single word holds a lot of promise.
My fixation with words helped me get through certain phases in life. When I had my first crush, I used words to convey the feelings of a 12-year old girl grappling with the feelings of liking someone for the first time. I basked in the glory of words and flourished as a student because of it. When I experienced my first heartbreak, words, whether they came from me or from others, helped me recover.
Words made me realize that what I was going through, though unique in its own way, was a universal experience; that I wasn’t entirely alone in my pain and loneliness. When my mother got sick, I used words to make sense of things. The powers of words brought me closer to people with the same experience.
I live and breathe words. This is why silence, when it goes on for quite a while, makes me uncomfortable. I’ve always been a firm believer that the world we live in is already full of ambiguity. We can all do ourselves a favor by making use of words to make things clearer. I do recognize when silence is necessary but I never fully subscribed to that proverbial idea that Silence is Golden.
Silence isn’t always golden, especially when seeking the truth. You’d find that silence is more deafening than the noise outside your home when they refuse to offer you the comfort of their words. Sometimes, silence is considered sophistication, but really it is just cowardice.
There is something to be said about the manner by which people leave you. We are all scared by something, but when we have hurt another person, it is our responsibility to handle it in the most decent way possible. We need to face the consequences of our actions no matter how terrified we are. Because really, a simple “I’m sorry” or “I’m still here” would have made a world of difference in someone’s life.
When they waltz out of your life without any explanation, the wheels in your head start to turn. Silence isn’t golden when the words which you needed to hear are being said to someone else while you are left reeling from their departure. Silence isn’t golden when it has dragged on for so long; when silence is the only thing left between the two of you.
When they refuse to give you words, the same you offer so generously, that is when silence isn’t golden.
Silence holds the weight of all the words left unspoken. We, the cursed ones, are left to carry that weight and decipher all that is unsaid; we, the lover of words, rattled by its absence.
I guess silence is better than empty words, but when it is irrational fear holding you back from saying the things that need to be said, be reminded that the time it took you to keep silent is a time you’ll never get back. Regret is a bitter pill to swallow.
Words–they can either make us or break us. They can cut us raw. They have the power to leave us in a corner, bleeding. But they can also wake us from our deep slumber.
Words can destroy us, but they can also rebuild us. Regardless, they provide us with moments of clarity. Words can provide us with some sort of tangible explanation as to why things turn out the way they are. And sometimes, that is enough to give us a semblance of peace.
There is no need to be a storyteller or a poet or a writer to convey your feelings effectively. When it all boils down to it, you only require one thing: Honesty. And that is better than silence. That is better than nothing.
Words: Frances Damazo