Speaking Out of Turn

18 October 2013
11:44 AM
Manila

M.–

–is how I got into an argument a while ago. No, it wasn’t me who was rude, but I was part of that conversation. It got me thinking how people listen, and how people talk. When I say something, do people want me to finish quickly so they can say their piece? Have I done the same thing? When I hear someone speak, am I really thinking about it, or am I busy making connections so I can respond with something about me afterward?

One size does not fit all, says Philippa Perry in her talk, How to Stay Sane. I should learn how to remember that.

During breakfast, my sister was telling my parents about her recent small victories in medical school: getting a diagnosis right, coming up with the most logical answer, identifying the simple out of the complicated, that sort of thing. We cheered for her, and my mother asked for a hug.

I remember thinking, I never had moments like these with them. Everybody always seems to ignore my writing life, and they only remember it when it’s convenient. Not that I am asking for attention, don’t get me wrong. Perhaps I am only speaking as a daughter. The writer in me is undeterred, because I like my place: I like disappearing so I can observe. And my observation this morning is that my parents will always treat art like a second-class citizen because it does not move them. They believe in work and logic. What they don’t understand, and what I have failed to convey every time, is that these exist in what I do, too.

I have interrupted myself. What I meant to say is: good morning.

Yours,
T.

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