In The Sellout, Paul Beatty writes that silence can be consent or protest, and for the protagonist, fear. I agree with the last part about fear.
I am scared of reaching out to people I have fallen out of touch with – scared of being reminded of the person I used to be, of having what I imagine is a slightly better version of myself rejected as not good enough, of it being found still inadequate, still not measuring up to a hard and fast standard I am not privy to, but left to somehow attain. My silence is cowardice.
I have talked myself out of the debilitating funk of anxiety enough times, but on this, the silence I have shrouded myself in, I am at a loss. I do not know how to reach out and extend my hand, stretch a part of my heart, put it out there to get light and air and water.
I would much quicker let it suffocate and dry than have it dashed across the world’s flint, or the diamond of a better soul, scared of the pain of it being sharpened or broken and battered beyond what it currently is. This trepidation is plainly the fear of change. How can I be something else when what I am is all I know how to be? And isn’t this the biggest dread of all?