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The Deafening Sound of Saying Nothing At All

There are some things we can never undo, and yet, people love to think differently.

How noble of an idea, but honestly, a ridiculous one too.

What makes us think words, or even actions, are enough to change a person’s mind or a person’s heart. What is this? The movies? Reality is best experienced with a heavy dose of practicality and rationality, which is something I learned not from Mary Poppins, but from experience.

What experience has taught me is sometimes, a feeling does not a reality make. I was reminded of this after reading the comments from yesterday’s post (for the record, I always read the comments) and seeing all the encouraging words from people. In their own way, a lot of people said to me, “You should just tell her how you feel.” And anytime we start pouring our hearts to other people about another person, that is usually the party line: “You should tell them how you feel.”

Here’s my question: What makes us think the person hasn’t already tried that?

For anyone who has ever been told, “Don’t ever talk to me again” and actually followed those instructions, you know what I’m talking about. The difficulty of quitting a person cold turkey is only countered by the pride we feel knowing we did just that, that we didn’t indulge in the person.

Now I would be remiss to act as though I haven’t picked up the phone and called someone after they repeatedly told me not to and my ex isn’t the only woman with whom I violated that rule. Sometimes, walking away is more difficult than calculus. We never can quite get it right.

But when we do get it right, there is no greater reward.

When I pour my heart out about anyone, know that before I said anything to anyone else, or before it was written for the world to read, I said it to the person who made me feel that way. This idea that my ex doesn’t know how much I miss her, or the other women I write about don’t know how I feel about them, is an insult to my manhood, though I don’t think anyone intended it to be that way.

Any man worth his salt isn’t going to be afraid to say how he feels about pretty much anything. There have been a thousand different reasons I have lost a thousand different women, but emotional apathy was never one of them.  I go hard, baby. And then I crash and burn.

As a result, sometimes, the only thing I can do to recover is write or talk about how I feel with others. I know that plan of action kind of seems self-defeating, but going above and beyond it is sometimes just as futile. Sometimes, the only feather in my cap is the self-discipline I exhibit by keeping my emotions in check and sticking to the original plan of action which was, as she said (as they all say) never speaking again. People have to realize, for all the “make a move” talk, a move was already made and because it wasn’t my best move, semi-permanent banishment is the consequence.

This is not to say any comment left fell on deaf ears or blind eyes. As a matter of fact, when I ran through every one of them last night, they began to sound like a chorus line of, “DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!” You fools almost had me pick up my phone and call old girl up to tell her I missed her. But instead, I brushed my teeth, washed my face, then looked in the mirror and said, “Go to bed, Jozen.”

Many of us would like to think the sweetest words we ever heard are enough to make all the problems of our past go away. But imagine if they came from the same person who once did the meanest most selfish thing that’s ever been done to you. Then ask yourself what difference those words would truly make.

I am honestly, the most expressive man I know this side of Barack Obama. I always say exactly how I feel to whom I feel, which is why, there are some people in my life with whom words just don’t work. For some people in my life, saying nothing at all is the only way they know how I truly feel.

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  • Ronnie6676

    Words are monuments to nothingness….ok I took a little liberty there from my days on line….but ya’ll ge the gist. A lot of people talk a good game but when you study their movements its game over 🙁 I absolutely believe in being open and honest about how you feel even if it is with someone that you’ve hurt. However do it because its something you need to do and not out of the expectation that they will forget every bad thing you did prior to your outpouring…even if they say they do, they dont.

  • http://facebook.com/yesip621 Yesi Jukebox

    Yea, i’m definitely feeling this piece. I am a very expressive person myself and I wish that words could sometimes be enough to make someone see what I see or what I know as truth but it doesn’t work all the time. Sometimes it is much better to just never talk again.

  • **inquiring mind**

    Being expressive myself, I tend to think this from time-to-time as well… but, it pains me deeply to hold stuff in- the act of communicating for me is more purifying then pulluting. Jay-Z once said when asked about his marriage to Beyonce why he didn’t tell anyone about it and he said “Those that love us understand.” I believe the same for when we do and say things in honesty that hurt others… those that love me know that I’m only saying what I say because it needs to be said… We’re adults now, back then when I used to say sh!t just to piss whomever off becuz they pissed me off are long gone- I believe the same is true for you Jozen. Not to say you should reach out to her- shoot I can’t even call my own situations… but just to say like her I’ve been the “Stop calling me” proclaimer and while I meant it at the time becuz I just kept thinking we were gonna keep making the same mistakes over and over… a part of me still felt like “Dang, I hope he proves me wrong”…

    eh- plus there’s always friendship.

  • Roni

    Very well said … and, honestly, exactly what I was thinking when I was reading all the comments you received yesterday about how you should tell her. Of course you already have. You are a writer who expresses himself without limits and it is clear from just reading your blog for the past few months that it colors every aspect of your life. I’ve feeling the same feelings you’re feeling about someone from my past and I, too, am a writer but no amount of expressing yourself can change what happened back then so sometimes the only true way to show them how much you care is to love them enough to respect their wishes and keep it movin, no matter how much that hurts. But still “…You fools almost had me pick up my phone and call old [dude] up to tell [him] I missed [him]. But instead, I brushed my teeth, washed my face, then looked in the mirror and said, “Go to bed, [Roni].” ;^)

  • BrwnButterfly

    Sometimes, walking away is more difficult than calculus. We never can quite get it right.
    But when we do get it right, there is no greater reward.”

    As a person that is going through said dilema, I can relate 110%. I too am one of those people that has no problems telling anyone no matter who it is, how I feel about something. But that strength is also my weakness. This was a great post. I always love it when I can see my situation through someone else’s eyes.

  • Ruby

    ‘A feeling does not a reality make’. Truer words were never said. Another great post Jozen. Keep ’em coming!

  • http://alishawritinglife.wordpress.com Alisha

    “I go hard, baby. And then I crash and burn.”<—-Hotness

    How I wish I could take this approach. When I read yesterday's post, "Tell her!" never came to mind. I figured you were just expressing yourself. Maybe it's the writer in me. Experience has taught me that sometimes words just don't work. Either they're not enough, too late or simply not wanted anymore. This was a good one.

  • **inquiring mind**

    @**inquiring mind** You know… I had to think look at this a second time and put myself in her position and some HORRIBLE exes in your’s… and now that I think about it- you right, just leave her alone.

  • P.A.

    “You fools almost had me pick up my phone and call old girl up to tell her I missed her.” –I wondered how deeply the comments affected you considering that alot times there are some off the wall things on here, but that line right there cleared that up. Great job.

  • b

    always go with you first mind!

  • joliechocolat

    I love this post. It really made me think as a serial “Never speak to me again.” dater. I always mean that when I say it. But deep down, I have a little part of me that hopes that they will prove me wrong and be able to come to me and say something to change whatever pain has gone down between us. It has never happened, and probably rightfully so. I completely cosign on “I go hard, baby. Then I crash and burn.” I do this every time I have date or meet someone that I really connect with. If I have truly gone hard with them, and that’s where we ended up, then there is a really good reason for that.

    I have had one guy in particular that has not respected my wishes, and it is painful every time he contacts me. (Especially because it’s usually slick stuff like forwarded emails or tagging me in sweet poems and notes about forgiveness on Facebook.) As much as I cared about him at the time, every time he comes near me it brings back bad memories of one of the most mean, selfish things someone has ever done to me. My wish for peace and closure always outweighs that little part of me that wishes he would be able to come back and say something to make it all okay.

    You did the right thing Jozen. And don’t think she doesn’t miss you too, because as someone from the other side of this, she definitely does.

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  • Jozen Fan

    People have to realize, for all the “make a move” talk, a move was already made and because it wasn’t my best move, semi-permanent banishment is the consequence.

    …if only she knew…

  • Netreia

    Dang, this piece was something I needed to read today. Just yesterday, I had the biggest blow-out with an present ex (who is now an ex-ex). And, I will admit the hardest thing to do today is SAY NOTHING.

    “For some people in my life, saying nothing at all is the only way they know how I truly feel.”

  • E-Dub

    THANK YOU for following her wishes Jozen. It’s the only thing that proves that you “get it”. I just had to go hard on the man who was quite probably the love of my life. He pleaded, begged, chastised me, and pulled on all the heartstrings. His boy even reached out to me, nervous cause he’s never seen his boy so shook. I had to explain (to both) that the best thing dude could do, for there ever to be ANY shred of hope for a future, is to FOR ONCE, let things be on MY terms, and leave me the f*^% alone!

  • joshuaTree

    As far as impact, connection, and flow, I think this is your best daily yet. Lotsa cats can kick, be deep, and entertaining – not usually without the plastic sheen of writerliness, though. Any reservations about how real you are got banished today. Thanks.

  • NeeCee

    Wow I needed to Read this…Thank you so much…Im having a moment right now in my own relationship…and my usual MO is to cutt them cold turkey and never speak to them again…I figure what Im going thru right now, is only making me grow as a person…handle things differently possibly…Thank you Again =]

  • monique

    i couldn’t agree with you more, jozen. i am the EXACT same way when it comes to expressing myself. the way i see it, if you made your case to your intended, and it didn’t produce your desired results…it’s not GOING to produce your desired results. that’s it. i know it sucks and may be hard for people to accept but putting the record on repeat day after day is not going to make you grow more fond of the same old song. sometimes you just gotta switch your tune and just like you said….lbrush your teeth, look in the mirror and move on. you did what you had to do. it’s on the other party to make the next move.

  • Dontchasethem

    Jozen, so true indeed. Once again I think you and my ex are one in the same.

  • BoomShots

    I had an interesting exchange with a friend of mine on IM yesterday because she is big on expressing her thoughts and feelings to others as soon as they hit her brain. I am always trying to tell her to not be so reactive, chill out and let time and calm shape your perspective. But I think this overwhelming urge and sense of self righteouness so many folks have about expressing themselves in the moment is socialization. Movies and popular culture is always encouraging us that expressing our every thought and feeling is how you get in touch with your feelings. If you put it on th etable the other party will see the rightousness of your belief. BS!!

    I disagree, because so many of our feelings are momentary and how many times do you have to open your mouth and put your feet in before you realize a little time and thought would have been the most productive think you had done. So even if what you feelings are genuine and above board, they may have no impact on that other person’s condition and so they have to reject them. Plus manipulation and gamesmanship has its place in all our interractions. I always advise people that outside of physical confrontation its better to act than react. Make the other party play defence.

    But I digress, point is somethings can best be resolved by not communicating in the immediate. Take a step back, let somethings unwind, cool the tension and calmer heads might prevail in your favor more often than not. I am all for communiction but sometimes we got to know when to not say anything.

  • Maria

    Loved both posts!!

    “Many of us would like to think the sweetest words we ever heard are enough to make all the problems of our past go away. But imagine if they came from the same person who once did the meanest most selfish thing that’s ever been done to you. Then ask yourself what difference those words would truly make.”

    I know for a fact those words will not make any difference at all. If my ex understood that our worlds would be so much better. No matter how much we want those words to changes, most likely everything will stay the same. I believe people should fight for some things but move on from others. Saying nothing at all is easier on everyone. Once you open your mouth, send a text message or leave a long voicemail you have increased the risk of opening wounds that took forever to heal. Its better to leave well enough alone.

  • afro

    Beautiful post.
    Sometimes, there are no words…

  • http://www.nicolen275.blogspot.com Nicole

    I agree with Alisha. The thing about getting to the blog late in the day is that someone often says what I was thinking. So I can just say “Amen to that”@Alisha

  • MsPrincessKey

    All I can say is thank you. Yo have given me insight into the pain I may have caused my ex by cutting him off from my life cold turkey. Although the way we got to this point may be different from the way you and your ex got to this place, I feel like I now understand his side of the story. The crazy thing is I did reach out and tell him I missed him and restated the feelings that I still feel for him. Well I got my answer he was with someone else which was my greatest fear of all. I’m not sure why I thought he would just wait on me or just let me come back after I cut him out of my life.
    Anywho that was way too much about me and my mess. All I really wanna say is thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this piece. I want you to know that I needed this right now so again Thank You.

    Baby Woman @ 20,
    MsPrincessKey

  • Esqin

    Very true… I find that words sometimes do not truly captivate how I really feel. So for me, its music, maybe a lil SWV, maybe some Dwele, maybe some rap, or maybe some classic jazz…

    I refer to music, because it always seem to fill in the blanks where emotions and words are absent.
    So for you… based off of your post yesterday, the song that I felt when I read it was Teedra Moses “Closer”…

  • Laura

    Fortunately for me, when I expressed how I felt to my ex, it was reciprocated and now we’re trying to work things out. (Unfortunately, if it doesn’t have to work, it’ll hurt that much more…) I will say that prior to finally expressing myself, the way I dealt with heartbreak was NOT to try to find someone to replace him to fill that void; I tried to fill that void with friends, family, and other activities to keep my mind off it. Did it work? No. But I would like to think that over time, it would have. Bottom line is, shit’s complicated and there really is no magical solution to get over strong feelings…oh life…

  • http://createdintheattic.com K.Smith

    this blog is very relevant to one of my many situations.
    Question…what happens when the girl says “don’t call me anymore”, but she realizes she wants to call him back? thoughts?

  • capricorn

    K. Smith: call him. He’ll either answer or he won’t. Take it from there.

    Jozen: *hugs* This was right on time.

  • Imranshonar

    Ohhh man. :/ a girl just told me to never call her again. 🙁