I Got Plenty of Nuthin’

As Jeff said of himself yesterday, I, too, am running on empty, idea-wise this week.(Sorry that I deflated his expectations of me.)

RED LETTER DAY! Tonette has nothing to say!

Not that I have always said what I thought, quite the contrary. I held a lot in for many years. I was always told that I was, ‘too quiet’; no debating team for this girl. Then, things changed for me , I found my mouth so opened that I said almost everything that came to mind…then I heard “What’s wrong with her/you?’ And they were probably right.

It was like my mouth was opened and my brain quit working. After being so afraid of saying the wrong thing, hurting someone’s feelings or ruffling their feathers, I did all of the above in short order. I have no idea why, but I have to say that it was liberating.
I managed to get my brain to rule my tongue again, and they began to work together.

I had learned to speak out when I heard someone was wronged, when I was wronged or when I heard blatant willful ignorance or uncalled for attacks… and something happened. When I let go of the fear of what people may think about me for contradicting them, most of the time, I earned their respect. They may not always have let go of their (wrong) opinions, but sometimes, they were willing to listen to reason and almost always, they agreed to disagree and to keep dialogue open.

[ I also learned that it was OK to let people not only read what I wrote, but to let them know it was me. My first writings, copyrights and award are under the name of  ‘T.Joyce’; I often had letters and congratulations addressed to  me thusly: “Dear Mr. Joyce”.]

I decided to make a nod toward this week’s holiday and look for a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that might fit …and I found the perfect one:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Mine truly began when I stopped being silent about things that matter.

I hope it shows in what I write that I have kept some of my discernment. I slipped back into being a mouse and a doormat, (only about myself), more than once over the years, but I bounce back.
Please let me know if I step on any feet. It will be unintentional, believe me.

That’s it; I’m done.

I have nothing more to say about having nothing to say.

About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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8 Responses to I Got Plenty of Nuthin’

  1. Micki Gibson says:

    Ah yes, finding your voice! It can be quite shocking to those who are used to you standing quietly on the sidelines, mistaking your silence for agreement with the situation as opposed to the storm that is brewing below the surface. Why did I keep silent? I was dealing with in-laws. It wasn’t until my husband was treated so rudely by his jerk of a brother that I couldn’t keep quiet any longer. I sent an email. I was ostracized by the rest of the family for most of 2012. It’s been a difficult year. But the one thing I have to say about it is that I stand by every word I wrote, refuse to apologize for it, and my in-laws now know that I will stand up for my husband and kids and heaven help anyone who tries to hurt them. It’s this thing I call INTEGRITY and no one should ever apologize for it.

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    • Ah, in-laws…don’t get me started! However, when it came to THEM, they managed to play on their Big Brother’s (Husband’s) sympathy and they got away with a lot.When stuff started really going down, I said my opinion and he finally treated them like the should-be adults they were.I got trashed and some said that I wasn’t fooling anyone signing their brother’s name to the emails.He emailed back and said, no, they were from him…and that I was entitled to my opinion.Big breakthrough!for us personally.
      (P.S. Micki, I could use another prompt from you.The last one got from you I expanded and was sent off for submission last week!)

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  2. jeff salter says:

    Tonette, with a line like “I have nothing more to say about having nothing to say” you could be in politics! Ha.
    Yeah, I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum: not speaking out when I probably should have … and speaking out when perhaps I should’ve kept quiet.
    I pray regularly for wisdom and discernment … in the hope / faith that such will guide me better in the future.

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    • Jeff, I didn’t want to be preachy but yes, it was when religion hit.( I would say I found God but I think it was more when Jesus sought me out.) I don’t always ask the Holy Spirit to have me say the right things, but not too much…I should .”Please tell me when to open my mouth and when to shut it” should probably be the first thought in my head in the morning!
      I think we have all had regrets both ways.I used to err on the side of caution every time.I have regretted when I have not spoken out more times than I should have bitten my tongue…I’m really good at biting my tongue…being a mother-in-law has honed that skill!

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  3. Iris B says:

    I love it when you have nothing to say, Tonette. I was a “late-speaker” as well, I needed to get away from the comfort of family to finally find my voice. I speak up, sometimes unfortunately a bit too much, but having kids has settled me down somewhat …. needless to say there are still some very happy people out there induldging in the fact that I’m currently “voiceless” .
    Really liked the quote by MLK ! It’s perfect!

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    • That seems to be a bit of a shared trait here,Iris, and I think finding moderation, (and NOT finding it sometimes),is just plain human!
      (I know people here would love to give me ‘silence’ pills.Get well soon!)
      I thought MLK was touched on by about everyone so I’d give a nod and I can’t believe the quote I found on the first page.
      Thanks; I’m glad it was appreciated.

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