I used to hate silence.
When Kelly and I would go on car trips, I'd fill the silence with stories, questions and running commentary. One time I asked him why he didn't feel the need to do the same and he simply said:
Silence can be comfortable.
I've thought about that a lot over the years. I'm still not the quietest person (ahem...no comments needed from the family and friends peanut gallery), but I don't always feel the need to fill silence with something.
That has led to long walks, in silence, with Kelly through our neighborhood and surrounding parks. Weekend afternoons at home, listening the sound of rain on the patio and laundry tumbling in the dryer. Silence in small workrooms at the office that is so thick I can hear my own thoughts.
And maybe that's the difference between then and now.
Then I was unsure of myself - silence made me feel uncomfortable, unanchored.
Now I know who I am. I'm not always the woman I want to be, but I am able to accept my mistakes with a measure of grace and move forward. Silence gives me a chance to think about that - or nothing - and to be ok with it all the same.