Monday, December 18, 2006

Verbose Stoic

I would like to become tight lipped. Stoic. A man who says little, but when he does speak people listen. I do have my moment. I can clam up during a car ride for hours. But I usually prattle on like a little kid. It's comical. I will rarely speak to people at social events, but get me out of that context and I will blab so much you'll never want to run into me again. I blame on the only child. Myself. I rarely had anyone to talk to so when I did make a friend I tended to be overly effusive. One example from way back:

I was around 5 years old and we had just moved back to Murfreesboro from Mississippi and had rented a cheap mobile home on Manson Pike. The L&N railroad was a few feet from our door - the trains would rattle the trailer as they roared by night and day. I thought that was cool, but when my parents found lice in the place we were forced to move quick. So we trudged a couple miles down the road to another trailer park off Old Nashville Hwy by the National Guard Armory. We hadn't even unpacked and I started making friends. The trailer park was full of scruffy kids who'd swarm and slide down the kudzu covered hillside, which was part of Fortress Rosecrans, across the highway. I was telling my life story to everybody within minutes ecstatic to have an audience. The next day none of them would play with me. I had told them about the lice and they must have thought I was eat up with the bugs even though I wasn't. I spent a miserable few months in that dump all because of my big mouth.

I've never gotten so bad that people run away when they see me, but I'm always afraid they will. I don't want to become one "those guys" that never shuts up. So this coming year I'm going to be more thoughtful with the words I speak. I will be contemplative and deliberate. It may turn out that there's really not much worth saying out loud. Maybe if I shut up I'll find that I've got more to write about, that I'll want to write more, and hopefully better.

On the subject of writing: I'm teaching myself to write on paper again. I've always been partial to notebook keeping; intrepid journaling, but I have fallen out of the habit. So I've decided to analog a portion of my life again and I learned that I was writing all wrong. My fingers have been doing all the work instead of using my arm and shoulder. I've been drawing my letters. So if you see some dude writing letters in the air or sitting on a park bench with a Big Chief pad it'll be me. I've ordered a Moleskine planner to use next year in the office. I think I'll even start sending out letters next year - a revolution of the personal.

I laid out a list of goals toward the end of 2005 and I accomplished the most important one. This year I'm not going to make a list of resolutions. I'm tweaking the format to one big blob. This is to make qualitative improvements in every aspect of my life. I've lost the weight so now I tone up. I need new pants so I get good quality ones. I screw something up - I will apologize and try to fix it. I get the urge to blab or scream and yell - I will chill out and bite my tongue. I don't want a moment of zen. I'll take a whole year.

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