One of the most frustrating feelings in the world: having something to say that you can’t express. It feels like your entire existence depends on this one moment of self-expression. The words bounce around in my mind until they are tangled, torn, and troubled. I rephrase and rethink. I try to sculpt this mess of thinking mass into something someone else might possibly understand. I force myself to look at it from a different angle, flipping the idea over and over again until I can’t remember which way is up anymore.
It’s exhausting, all this fruitless thinking. So I try to distract myself. I surround myself with new ideas, new people, new music, new books. Yet everything I read or listen to seems to march me right back to that holding cell with my original thought, now just with some extra perspectives picked up along the way. My distractions might be completed unrelated to my thoughts, but I’m reading and listening only to hear what I want to think about so inevitably, it comes around.
This stifling feeling of not being able to express what I want to is equaled only by a paralyzing fear of being misunderstood. It is this fear that makes me hesitate before speaking, that can halt me in the middle of a sentence or conversation and force me to change directions completely. My unspoken words never even got the opportunity to escape.
Yet there is something far worse than this combination of not being able to express myself or be understood.
What terrifies me most of all is this: I arrange my ideas meticulously, polish them for hours, overcome doubts and hesitations, say exactly what I want to, and am perfectly understood–only to realize that everything I want to say isn’t even worth my breath, that this completely consuming idea is completely insignificant.