Silence, Agency, and Why You Just Need to Shout Sometimes

I’ve never been very good at maintaining a blog. I’m hoping this one will stick because I’ve come to realize some important things since the last time I tried to keep one up, but I suppose only time will tell.

The biggest problem I run into isn’t my own laziness despite the fact that I blame my own laziness literally every chance I can. I’ve got beard because shaving takes too much time. I had long hair because regular haircuts are a bother. I don’t get much done outside of work because I just want to sit around a bit. People expect less from you if you’re lazy and then you can out perform their wildest expectations with hardly any effort. The real problems behind the “laziness” are much harder to deal with. Not liking the way my neck looks. Being afraid of losing what hair I’ve got left. Trying to save what energy I’ve got left for the drudge that will be tomorrow.

The real problems are harder to face, but that’s how we’re supposed to grow, by working through things like this. The reason, the real reason, I’ve never been good at maintaining a blog is that I’ve always believed that silence is preferable to empty words. I’ve always hated people in classes and, now that I’m in the business world of being an adult, meetings who constantly drone on for little other reason than to enjoy the sound of their own voice. I would much rather maintain my silence and make the few words I used count. I firmly believed that I’d be heard better if I spoke less often.

As anyone with some real-world experience can tell you, that’s a somewhat naive and idealistic view. Usually the people who get heard the best are the ones making all the noise. It’s very easy to overlook a few confident, correct words spoken at just the right time. If you don’t exercise your voice and spend time fighting the windbags, you’re going to lose your agency. When you’re trying to affect some change or maybe just make the world a somewhat better playing, nothing quite defeats you like losing your agency.

Then it snowballs. People listen less and less and even you start to wonder if maybe they don’t have a point. You start to think that maybe no one cares or maybe you don’t matter. You struggle to carry onward, but that little bit of outside feedback is important. Sure, we’re supposed to do these things because they’re intrinsically rewarding or because it’s just the right thing to do, but it is so much easier to do that when we’ve got someone backing us up and giving us a nudge forward. We’re not really meant to go it entirely alone. We’re social creatures. We need a little participation from those around us. Some sort of emotional investment, even if it’s fleeting.

So this is me fighting back against the windbags of the world and of my life. Time to start reasserting myself and restoring the agency I’ve lost in my years of quiet contemplation and lackluster participation. Writing as best as I can with what words I’ve got. So please, pick up the pieces and let’s move on, shall we?


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