Monday, September 12, 2011

Dallas does...Hours 13-17

I am being haunted by the letter S.
My silence is making it impossible for me to go order food at the campus cafeteria...and I'm too stubborn to walk home and make an omelette because I know that would lead to me taking a nap instead of doing the hours of homework that should be accomplished today.
So here I am writing an update to try to kick my mind out if its early-afternoon hibernation.
The worst part by far of this vow (at least, the worst part in the first 17 hours) was the walk to campus with my roommate. Everyone should walk alongside someone for a good 15 minutes in total silence to know just how agonizing it can be.
Okay, maybe I'm being overdramatic. But that's because I've always hated silence. I'm that person who starts telling pointless stories just to fill minuscule gaps in conversations. And this my friends, is why I'm plagued by poor performance on both telephone interviews and first dates.
Beyond forcing myself into a much-needed hiatus from social media, I undertook this vow of silence as a way to try to make peace with crickets chirping, if you will. I think it's an important skill to have to be able to be in the same room with other people without the need to continuously shoot the breeze.
But boy do I want to shoot the breeze right now.
I'm sitting on the top floor of our Union, attempting to be productive, but mostly just dozing off while reading Donne poetry and listening enviously as the person behind me receives constant Facebook chat 'new message' notifications.
It's been an interesting morning overall. I find myself shuffling along looking at cracks in the sidewalk, as I have become convinced that even a slight second of eye contact will allow someone walking past to draw me into conversation.
I completed my social outcast vibe by sitting in the very back of the lecture hall for my morning class, which, as it turns out, is home to people who carry on conversations as if they are eating lunch at Panera instead of sitting in the glow of a professor's Powerpoint presentation.
I continue to find value in shrinking my communication universe to one, but am beyond thrilled that this project only lasts 36 hours. It's mesmerizing to me that a true ascetic can sentence themselves to an austerity of silence that lasts 12 years. 12 years!! And here I am complaining about all the life-changing events that I could be missing in just a day and a half...
I doubt any single Facebook notification or text message deserves to be missed as much as I miss it right now.
And that's the real problem. Little red numbers in the top left of our profile and vibrations from our phone have come to be the building blocks of communication instead of sentences spoken aloud. I still don't think that these things will be the ruination of my generation...but they definitely do distract us from the life that's passing us by outside of computer screens and lcd monitors.
And so my goal for the second half of my silence is to stop missing what I've left behind and embrace this opportunity to explore the aspects of this vow that I won't ever relive. I gave up talking, not listening.

Peace, love and personal growth,

*Best story that I can't yet share....
In lecture, my friend was eating some dry cereal while the professor began his lecture. It wasn't anything too crunchy like carrots, but it was definitely creating an audible chewing sound. And that, coupled with the crinkling of the cereal box's bag, was enough to drive the boy in front of us crazy. What I wouldn't have given to poke her and share what I saw him type on his computer screen which was, in all caps, ARE YOU DONE EATING. You just gotta love passive aggressives.

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