When I was in elementary school, every progress report I ever got was the same. I was a bright girl. I did well in school. History, Math, Science, Reading, subject after subject the mark was the same: S – Superior. I understood school. I was given work. I did it the way I was asked. I got good grades.
I did well, except in one category. Four times a year, I had to bring home the report card with the same dark stain. Controls Talking: N – Needs Improvement. No matter how much I tried, and I really did, I could not improve. It’s like my DNA needs my mouth to move.
There have been a series of events this week that brought it all back. I talk too much. I say what I think. I write what goes on in my head. Some of it’s funny. Some of it’s clever. As it turns out, some of it’s abrasive or offensive. Some of it’s irritating.
I’m a lot to take. I’ve known that for a long time. I try to edit, hold back, be socially acceptable, but I never quite get there. I’m the girl who says the things other people think, but don’t say out loud. That has consequences.
I get private messages from some people thanking me for finally being the someone willing to say “it,” whatever it is, out loud. I also get a blow up of comments on my blog about a joke missing the intended mark, and hitting too close to home on another. I get reminded people who matter don’t find me nearly as charming as I find myself. My family is confused by my willingness to write about my life on the Internet, but my failure to pick up the phone. My husband, who fell in love with a loud-mouthed broad, is sometimes annoyed by my inability to just let some things go.
My control over my talking still needs improvement. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever improve enough.