People of different personalities with different backgrounds walk into our lives every single day. They give out a piece of their mind and share a little advice for you to follow in order to iron out the wrinkles of the path you chose. These people come and go and their words, either those that struck a chord or those that did not matter to you at all, should be valued. In the end, it will all boil down to you, the decision-maker.
Nearly four years after college, my life has been surrounded with explicit noise – the ugly, the subtle, and some insulting, heart-crushing noise. It has been a very difficult transition and a very painful battle against what I think is significant and what people think is appropriate, from what is being expected of you and for what you desire to do, from the things that you love and from the things that they love. It is hard to deal with when you’re out there “living.”
Every time you reach that point of making a choice, those noise will reverberate from ear to ear. It is chaos inside your inner thoughts, a cluster of positive and negative words grabbing your attention as you try to sift through them in order to make a decision. Sadly, decisions don’t just happen once. It recurs every single day, hour, and even minute as we continue to exist. Decisions are made and specific consequences, whether good or bad, are attached on every option there is. Noise, however, makes that part of selection confusing.
Life is all about making decisions. If we will get stuck in limbo from the myriad of distracting noises around us, we will forget to listen to that one voice that is of great importance – our voice, our only voice. The voice that we use to communicate our thoughts, the voice that is our unique instrument to make a point, to make things matter, to stand up and stand out. That is you, that is me, that is us.
If we let other people speak for us, we allow them to block our capacity to express. If we let them cloud our minds with useless noise, we allow them to invade our personal thinking space, limiting our capacity to expand and express deeper and meaningful thoughts. If we keep our silence, then we will be silenced forever.
Engagement to the world is impossible without listening. We keep our ears open to the many ideas and paradigms thrown at us – they may not be necessarily useful but the mere fact that we entertain those schools of thought makes us fully aware of our existence, our state of being. Noise, those unclear, unusable, unappealing set of thoughts which confront us and haunt us everyday, can easily be disregarded using proper judgment and selection.
Noise in our everyday lives can take shape in any form, whether an insult, a cold call from a telemarketer, a conversation with a stranger, an argument with a family member, a dog barking from the other side of the street, or even the sound of rain. Noise are distractions which are relative from person to person. The sound of rain may be annoying for a fellow who is trying to analyze a set of data but it may be therapeutic for a writer who is creating a narrative. It varies.
Words may hurt you, break you, and sometimes they may lift your spirits up and save you – it depends on various circumstances and never will it be the same with everybody. The only thing common there is the fact that words, however blunt, however delivered, however long or short the message is, words, when interpreted, can be felt. It tickles our feelings and emotions because we are human. Being human means being able to feel – not just through physical sensation but through subjective emotions.
The sad part of it all, despite convincing yourself and masking what your feelings and emotions are to present a different persona, the heartfelt emotions are still there inside you. The reason for that is because we, as humans, could not possibly be able to selectively decide not to feel anything for something. We could not selectively numb emotions because that is not how we function. We could not say we are unfeeling because we are. We could not say we are not hurt because we are. That’s the truth – the universal truth.
We can decide what noise to filter out only after our vulnerability is struck. We can hear what people have to say, we can hear an innocent child screaming, but it is only after a quick process of internalization that we could decide to throw it out or keep it. That is how noise can be dispelled.
The room for growth is massive despite the distractions and noises in our lives. We could not dodge a stray bullet because we have to catch it in order to know how it would feel like to have something pierce through you. If we dodge, there’s no point in learning because with its passing, it is an opportunity lost.
Learning really never stops. It is very dynamic that in every aspect of your life, there is a constant reminder to update yourself, to learn, and re-learn because everything is ever-changing – experiences, people, conversations, ideas – they are all changing on a daily basis.
Beyond the noise are lessons in life worth pondering on. We hear them constantly, but we can choose to discard those noise that hinder our capacity for growth.