Listen

A number of hours each day are silent for me.

It’s not that I stopped communicating. It happens to not always be in person: it’s mostly emails and texts. And I still get to hear the world around me. The hum of the modem behind me, the laughter of the people upstairs or downstairs, the sounds of a city alive: all these remind me of my surroundings.

But a number of hours are just me, at a computer or with a book, alone with my thoughts.

Some people like talking a lot. Some people like to fill their lives with others. I prefer serenity. Because even if my mind is racing and thoughts are blasting through my head, I can just open my ears to the world and listen.

I’ve always been on the quiet side. It’s more important to me, more than ever, to be able to hear what’s going on around me. To be able to absorb what goes on in meetings, to be able to hear when a car is approaching behind me, to be able to hear when someone needs help. It’s easy to talk: it’s much harder to effectively listen.

The sound of my fingers pecking is currently the loudest sound I’ve heard in the past hour. Just the way I like it.

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