say what? — part ii

after i wrote about my predilection for not talking much in certain settings, i thought i should clarify a couple of things:

1. i love people.

2. i love to talk.

(imagine that i have grinned.)

i mention these two things because —

a. i am not always very demonstrative (“ancora imparo,” to explain it in latin.)

b. i also sometimes prefer to just listen — to conversation or silence.

but there was a time, way back in the days in when my friends and i would have sleepovers, that i was routinely the last one asleep. once i started talking i would talk, and talk, and talk, and talk … my friend kimmi said to me once, “i am listening, but, just to warn you, i am going to fall asleep.” (i kept talking, and yes, she did fall asleep. but i didn’t mind, and i’m assuming neither did she.)

and before that, even, shortly after i’d learned to talk, when my mom and i went grocery shopping i’d sit in the cart and ask the passersby, “what’s your name?”

often before they could get in a word edgewise i’d follow it up with “what’s your middle name?”

if i talk about something that makes me curious, or angry, or passionate (yes, that does happen!); if i’m excited; if i’m talking one-on-one with somebody or with just a few people at once, then i can (and often will) talk a blue streak. maybe this has to do with the ruminating aspect of my personality — once i’m through chewing things over in my mind, and someone opens the window of conversation, i leap through it enthusiastically. i don’t always have to spend a lot of time thinking before i say something. (sometimes my mind goes totally blank, however, if i’m tired, and then i say lots of half-sentences whilst my brain goes frantically whizzing ’round looking for a thought to grab and words to put with it.)

i’m learning to ask questions about other people and let them sort of guide the conversation that way (sidenote: i did this today! not on purpose, but i just remembered that it happened successfully).

i enjoy people. i enjoy talking. i enjoy people who enjoy talking. half the fun of talking is listening, though, and watching how the other person (or other people) talks.

on the flip side of this issue of not talking much, i am insatiably curious. there are all kinds of questions i find myself wanting to ask people … but often they’re things that i don’t actually need to know. i want to know the answers to my questions, but i end up not asking because i decide it’s not my business, or i don”t know the person well enough yet to ask them with the assurance they’ll feel safe in answering. maybe i should just wear a button on my sweater that says “tell me ALL about yourself” and i’ll stop people when they start telling too much. (now imagine another grin with a slightly shocked expression.)

so, to sum up: i like people. i like finding out about people. i like telling people about things. if i start talking, sometimes i have to be told (nonverbally usually, but sometimes out loud) to be succinct or to stop. and then sometimes i’m perfectly happy to just watch and listen — and learn that way. : )

observation: i’m not fond of spiders, but it’s junebugs i really loathe. they’re dumb and sticky.