Monday, 30 April 2012

The Value of Nothing

I have intermittent appointments with a counsellor at my University's healthcare centre. I'm not going to go into why or what my counsellor and I talk about because frankly that's none of your business. And also because that's not the point of this post. 

Today I realised something. Nothing dramatic, nothing profound, just something. 

Silence is fantastic. 

And rare.

Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that I talk too much; I don't stop for lectures or movies, I talk to myself if there's no-one around and I have even been known to talk in my sleep. My best friend at school was the silent one, it has been said on more than one occasion that could be because she couldn't get a word in edgeways, but I always had an opinion or a thought about whatever was being discussed. But at these appointments I just don't. Before today there have always been moments of silence, periods where I didn't know what to say or didn't want to say anything and the shrink wouldn't push it because he wanted to see what I had to say for myself, not just what I thought he wanted to hear in response to my questions (I guess that's the idea anyway). Today though I spoke for maybe ten minutes out of the hour. 

I normally hate silence and find it distracting, I need the TV on or the radio or people talking just to enable me to work. I told the shrink this, he asked what I used this silence to distract me from or was it different kind of silence and I realised that I enjoy sitting in silence for parts of an hour a week. 

The idea that silence is missing in the modern world isn't new, this isn't a dramatic revelation but it did make me think that maybe I need to spend more time listening and less time talking. 

Starting now.

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