I saw him on the bus today, the man who catches the 455, the one I had wanted to talk to at the beginning of the project. I thought to tell him about my opening. I didn’t have any info on me, I didn’t know if I would just sound strange. I thought I could tell him next week, then to realise I was moving house so this was to be my last 455 trip. I chickened out. Afraid to talk to him. Afraid to look bad or weird.
Seems hypocritical to a project about talking, that I couldn’t talk. Perhaps it is just full circle, or just goes to the heart of some themes I have been exploring. We often don’t talk because we are afraid of what others think or are self conscious. It happens in life. I have drafted and stopped myself sending 3 emails this week to someone scared of what they might think of me. I have stopped myself talking to someone else because I make assumptions about what they think of me. Even this artwork, comes to me as a self conscious move at times, and worried people might think it (and me) might be silly or dumb. Throw in someone I’m attracted to and that fear of looking bad can get the most of me.
It all starts to reveal the conversations often had. The ones we have in our heads, the internal chatter that makes us afraid to talk.
The man might have been flattered, he might have even come to the opening. I’ll never know because I never asked. My opening could have been different if I opened up to this man. Just as the project says that cities could be different if our communities opened up. Every action (or inaction) creates a reaction to live with.
It’s also OK I didn’t talk to him. It was a bit of fear, but it was also I chose that it wasn’t important enough to approach him. I don’t regret the choice. It also shifts the mindset that being afraid to talk is different to choosing not to talk. At times I probably mistaken these things in myself (and others). This differs from some of the initial design development time that was coming from a space of fear and regret. It had felt like a world of regret, especially the times I didn’t speak up in relationships. I could and have punished myself for things I didn’t say or things said badly in the past. Expect now I understand them not to be regrets, but lessons and choices. I can shape my present and future with new conversations but I can’t change the past. Things reflected my stage of life, personal learning, experience or comfort at the time. It was, just what it was. Just like it is just what it is, when I feel like talking or not talking, making an effort or not making an effort.