I have been thinking recently about all the words that we leave unsaid. All the thoughts that we don’t dare give voice to because they are too strange, too embarrassing, too true. We say other things instead that are less burdened by meaning. We say things that may only half-convey all that we are feeling, especially to those we feel the most about. Perhaps I have always assumed that those who love me, who know me don’t need the affirmation of mere words. My parents must know that I love them. My sister must know that I miss her. So, I don’t say these things as I leave them standing behind those flimsy elastic barriers at the airport. But I remember that moment later, when I’m on the plane, on the bus to Ann Arbor. Of course, I will have the chance to tell my parents that I miss them, that I love them, that I will return in a few months. I am lucky because I have technologies within arm’s reach that would be impossible to imagine even fifty years ago.
There are so many moments to come. But I am so afraid that I will ever be able to express what they mean to me. I haven’t told them about that one grey morning last semester, when I woke up aching for the aura of security and comfort that I feel when they are nearby. I haven’t told them about all the late nights, when I have wished myself back home. This was my decision, after all. To come to college more than two thousand miles away. To plant myself in a new land and prove that I could grow independent and strong. But there must be some weakness within me, for I cannot find the words to say.
My parents don’t know how to find this blog. Yet more words that will be left unheard. I imagine their silent, inky forms floating all around us. Their weight pulling down elevators of reticent passengers. Their shapes clogging the air between two strangers sitting side by side, for hours without paying the barest attention to the other. And other times, words come all too easily. They turn the air red with their anger. Those are to be regretted too, in time. Either said or unsaid, words haunt me with their subtle power, their dangerous potential. And they urge me to speak.