All my life, I have been walking into noisy rooms.
The boardroom, the kindergarten room, the gymnasium. The birthday party. The cocktail party.
The noise was all of you. Your thoughts and feelings. Your fear, your comfort. Your leanings, your sway.
I was interested in that: What were you thinking? What were you feeling?
Who liked who? Who was at the top of the power pile? Who did I need to impress?
Biggest question of all: What would it take to fit in here?
Some of us walk with a blessing and a curse:
We read all the facial expressions.
We hear what one person says and can feel as it mildly threatens or puts on edge the person across the room.
We feel the complex map of relationship everywhere we go.
This helps us. It helps us fit in. It helps us adapt. It helps us be strategic.
But it also hurts us, because sometimes that noise is so damn distracting it’s impossible to hear our own voices.
Sometimes the symphony is so loud and intricate we forget that our work is to throw our own hats in the ring.
Maybe we need to turn down the volume on all that noise.
Or maybe the work is keep the gift for listening – to hear it all, but never again draw the conclusion that our voices have to blend in.
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So true and so well-said, Tara. As I read, I was nodding along and when I got to the line “But it also hurts us…” there was a big AHA moment because it had never occurred to me how seeing the dynamics of relationships between others could, and often did, lead to me quieting my own voice. Big AHA — thank you for that!