A long, long time ago I came to understand that silence is ok. There was a time when things seemed awkward if two or more people sat in silence. The mind would race to find small talk topics and fingers would fidget. Silence would feel like an indictment on the state of relationships as it would be taken to mean that people had nothing in common.
Then I came to realize that there is such a thing as a comfortable silence.
Overall, I can (we all can) enjoy the silence. I can sit in a room with others and be ok with no one saying a word. Silence can be a signal of trust and interconnectedness. In psychology, there is also the understanding that about every seven minutes or so, a natural lull in a conversation occurs. And, that is ok. Furthermore, friends don’t always necessarily laugh at the same time. Yet, acquaintances more often than not laugh in sync. That is because as an acquaintance you feel socially obligated to laugh together. Once your friends you can laugh an hour later after a joke, if you wish. Well, a slight exaggeration.
Now that I am ok with silence, and gaps in conversations, I need to also be ok with empty spaces. I grew up in small apartments and we had a lot of items. We were always packed. Then I lost many of my belongings and for a while didn’t own much that couldn’t fit into a car. Not that I had a car. After a while, I started rebuilding my life collection, per se. I still have shoes that I bought 15 years ago. Luckily, my shoe size has always been a constant. As I started owning more things, I took pride in seeing them. I liked being able to fill up spaces. When you move from an apartment to a house, you start filling up. That’s what happened in New York. And it is what will probably happen here in Los Angeles.
Let me explain
At the moment, I have several spaces that are empty in my new house. In particular, I have a lot of unused space in my bedroom. I am happy that there is this blank space. However, I keep looking at the space wondering what I will put in its place. I know that I will probably make my way to the Pasadena flea market and there will be some interesting furnishings and artwork. But should I buy anything? Should I look? Perhaps I need to learn to be ok with empty spaces and let them be. I can just look at the empty spaces and think of possibilities. If I were to furnish those spaces quickly then I cut off many other possibilities. I need to leave them somewhat empty so that I can grow more “organically” into my new space. Does that sound weird? Probably. However, that is where my head is at these days.
The empty spaces, would still be taken up by us-the living creatures of the house. I most certainly can take up a new dance routine in those spaces. I also can adopt a doggie and he can find and claim his space. I like this idea of room for growth. Let’s see how strictly I come to abide by the concept.