The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE SEVENTY ONE: Mumble
Being a shy kid leaves an impact on you. Sometimes for the rest of you life.
It’s my normal speaking level. If you can hear me in a conversation, I’m speaking much louder than I normally do. Many years of being nervous about what people think of me and judge what I might say has made me this way.
And even though I’m a bit more comfortable in my own skin than I use to be, I still mumble from time to time. Just ask my wife. It’s because of a conversation that we had not too long ago that made me want to write this. I didn’t realize that I mumbled so badly until a few years ago.
I honestly thought everybody else was going deaf.
I hate speaking up. I hate being loud. I hate being somewhere that it’s so loud, you can’t have a conversation without screaming. And when I drive and there is somebody else in the car with me, I make sure the volume on the radio is turned down low, just loud enough to make out the song. I want to be heard if I say something. Plus, just having the radio loud to have the radio loud is just plain rude.
In school, I was told over and over by teachers to SPEAK UP!!! I would and it just made me sick to my stomach. If the other kids weren’t already looking at me, they really were then so whatever I was saying had better be right or there was going to be a red-faced Loyd standing there. More red-faced, anyway.
When I worked in an assembly plant, I learned to scream to be heard, even have a conversation at the top of my lungs when I needed to. But I hated it. As soon as I got in my vehicle to leave for the day, I don’t think I would say anything for hours when those screaming days arose. I just didn’t want to hear my voice. Not at all.
Now I’m way more comfortable at speaking. I can hold a normal conversation at a normal volume most of the time. Some of it has to do with a love of podcasting and involving myself in a few. And the rest has to do with being angry at things that upset me and the need to be heard on it. I’ve learned to have a commanding voice when I need to. It’s a voice that will make you sit up and take notice. I quite enjoy using it every now and then when just to watch heads turn.
But I still have a fall back position to a mumbling setting.
I’m not sure why I haven’t left mumbling behind me. I can only guess it’s still not being sure of myself with things. Maybe it’s fear of saying the wrong thing. Maybe it’s just the feeling that whatever is going to come out of my mouth isn’t worth anything and the people around that hear it will agree it wasn’t worth anything.
I think that’s true, now that I’m writing it. I think when I do fall back to mumbling, it’s exactly that fear of people not caring about what I have to say.
Here’s a secret about me. It might have something to do with what I’m saying. Or a lot.
I talk to myself.
In the car, in the shower, at work, whenever I feel the need and there’s nobody around.
Even when there are people around, I talk to myself in my head or…I mumble. I mumble something real quick when I think I’m out of ear shot.
It’s how I work things out. I have a conversation with myself to figure out different solutions to a problem.
And, yes, maybe I’m a bit crazy because I DO answer myself.
There is a lot of mumbling going on when I do. Another factor in why I mumble so much, I suppose.
There has been speculation that if you talk to yourself, you might be a bit crazy. Maybe. I have also read that those that talk to themselves are highly intelligent. That is highly unlikely in my case. But…maybe.
Mumbling seems to go hand and hand with people who talk to themselves. We don’t want to be judged by others when we speak and can only handle our own judgement. It’s hard for us to stand up and say clearly what is on our mind and in our hearts.
I’ve learned over time to say what’s on my mind, loud and clear, and I’m all the better for it. When there is something I need to say, if it’s something that bothers me, if it’s a joke or just to communicate with someone, you will hear me. I will look people in their eyes and speak clearly. Sometimes with that commanding voice I’ve discovered I have.
And I know how to yell. Many years of dealing with certain people has taught me to do that very well. And, yes, that commanding voice can make me heard a county over.
But I try not to do that. Deep down is still that guy who hates the way he sounds, hates to raise his voice and thinks he’s going to be judged on whatever comes out of his mouth.
Maybe that’s why I enjoy writing so much. I don’t have to talk over anybody and if somebody wants to read it, they can read it to themselves or out loud. Whatever I want to say will be understood.
Even if I tend to mumble.
Did you hear me?
June 9th, 2017
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.