Wednesday, 1 July 2015

More than words

     This is something I’ve been thinking for a while, and started writing a few weeks ago, but the last 24 hours have brought it into sharper relief. Not sure it’ll make any sense to anyone else, but isn’t that always the case?

     I’m honest on here. Perhaps too honest. There was a blogpost not so long ago that prompted one person to ask me if maybe it’d be healthier for me to keep back a little, keep it to myself a bit more, in the interests of self-preservation. To stop laying myself so bare and open to hurt. Thing is, I never see it like that. When I blog, I don’t feel like I’m confiding in anyone, or handing over secrets to people. I never think of a post as being read; only written. Once it’s out there, it’s done, it’s gone. That’s all, folks. I know it means that there are an awful lot of strangers out there who know far too much about me, but I genuinely don’t care.

     Where things get tricky is when people comment on blogs, or reply to tweets, or email, or DM, and say nice things. It means a lot, it really does. That the words of some obscure little blogger may have touched someone, or made them laugh, or made them think, or that they just enjoyed what I had to say. Every time it happens, I’m genuinely, honestly, taken aback and feel a bit stunned that anyone would place any value on what I have to say, and that they've taken the time to tell me so. And I don’t put that in as a piece of self-deprecation to make people rush in and say nice things…

     Because I’ve had enough of people saying nice things. I’ve had enough of people saying I’m important, or I mean something, or I’m worth listening to, or that they love my writing, or that I’m great, or that I’ve helped them in some way.  Because it’s words. Just cobbled together letters and punctuation that in the final analysis means nothing. Anyone can put words together, there’s no great skill or talent in it. Look at me now, sitting at my desk in my bikini, drinking shit coffee from a Peppa Pig mug, hammering the keyboard like the fool that I am. Anyone can do that. I could type that I really fancy you, or that I love your book, or that’s a great photo, or thanks for all your help, or yes I promise I won’t let you down again, or I really care about you, or I love your dress, or I really enjoyed your blogpost. But it means nothing, zero, nil, nada, nothing. It’s just words, on screens, on phones, even words spoken face to face. Empty. Little. Words.


     Just empty little words. People using empty little words to convey something they don’t mean, fake emotions they don’t have, make promises that are as hollow as the words themselves. Words count for nothing, and I'm a gullible idiot for believing them, for clinging to praise and compliments that served no purpose other than to ensure I'd help other people out, at too much of a cost to myself. If you want to make your point, then prove it. Demonstrate it. Convince me. But words are no longer enough.

3 comments:

Emma Bliss said...

I've done a couple of long silent meditation retreats during which I realised that most of what we say is for our own benefit, not that if the person we are talking to. We just want to make ourselves feel nice and good and kind for reaching out. It's all about ourselves. And most of what we say is utter meaningless shite! It's good to be reminded of this every now and again.

Lucy Benedict said...

YES! That's it exactly! I tend not to praise unless I really mean it, so I assume other people are the same. When it comes down to it, people aren't that kind and altruistic. But empty words make them feel that they are, and they generate goodwill. Gestures mean more than words, IMO.

Julie Kirk said...

Well .. I think I've changed my mind about what I think about words a few times while reading your post! I won't add any more ...

I'll just let this Samuel Beckett graffiti I once found do the talking instead!

http://notesonpaper.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/its-sign-which-side-are-you-on.html