|talking by Len Matthews, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)|
I have a runaway tongue. There is no doubt, that given the opportunity, I know how to talk. Just introduce one of my favourite subjects and I am unstoppable.
Many years ago when I was much younger, whenever I came home from a social function, I’d replay all that evening’s conversations in my head. Around and around they’d go like an ever-revolving record. I said this, and then I said that… I always ended up wishing I’d said less. If I hadn’t said so much, I wouldn’t be wondering: “What is everyone thinking about me?” They were probably not thinking about me at all, but my young insecure self didn’t consider that.
Of course I always vowed not to talk as much next time I got together with friends. Yes, I’d leave the speaking to others. I planned to listen carefully, nod my head in agreement, smile and generally keep quiet. That way I wouldn’t dominate the conversation. I wouldn’t say anything foolish and wonder what everyone was saying about me later. Of course I always failed.
Those days are long gone but I’m still talking. Sometimes I have a good excuse to open my mouth. Recently, I was invited to speak at the Catholic Digital Media Conference in Sydney. I co-presented a blogging workshop. My fellow speaker was Laura from the blog Catholic Cravings.
Laura is different from me in nearly every way. She is tall and I am short. She is young and pretty and I am much older. She is a single student, aware of all the latest news about Catholic issues, and I am a stay-at-home mother who often doesn’t know what’s going on in the bigger world. And our blogs and writing styles are very different as well. And I like that. I think our workshop was potentially richer because of these differences. They show we don’t all have to be the same. There is room for everyone in the blogosphere. We all have our unique way of sharing our Catholic faith.
The time for our workshop arrived. Laura very capably opened the session, and then handed over to me. Now I did remember to pass the baton back to my co-presenter every now and then, but I fear I always took far too long. You see, there was so much to say and I forgot to look at the clock, and dear Laura must have been wondering if she’d ever get a word in.
And so I came home thinking about how I’d talked too much. But unlike my more youthful self, I didn’t keep replaying the session in my head, cringing at my every word. I know I only spoke because I was passionate about the subject. I don’t regret my actual words. I didn’t beat myself up over it. I have learnt that doesn’t really help. But I do feel I should have stepped back and given more time to Laura.
Why do we think what we have to say is so important? Why do we feel we have to say it? I’ve been mulling these thoughts over. Sometimes other people have even better things to say than us, and it’s good to remember that.
When the conference came to a close, Laura gave me a big hug as we said goodbye. And I left Mary MacKillop Place feeling I’d known her forever, instead of only a few hours. She said it was good to meet me. It was great to work together. Yes, she is a very gracious woman.
Laura has written her own post about the CDMC. It’s totally different to mine. And that’s good. I’ve just filled a post talking about myself again. Laura didn’t do that. She actually wrote something interesting.
I’m going to stop talking now. I’m going to let you go. Please hop over to Laura’s blog and listen to her instead.
You can also find me on my Sue Elvis Writes Facebook page. You could stop by and say hello. I'd like that!