Just read the book True Grit, and re-watched both of the movies. I love how well the lead character Mattie Ross talks even at a young age. She has zero passivity and I love her character for that. Her words are aggressive, forthright, and perfectly placed. She backs down authority figures, Lawmen, horse traders, and criminals and get’s what she is after. I wish I had her ability at 14 but I did not.
When I was young and my peers wanted to be super hero’s, firemen, and professional athletes, I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be able to talk. I didn’t just want to be any lawyer, I wanted to be a trial lawyer. Arguing important cases, protecting the weak, and bringing down the corrupt. I would watch Perry Mason on my lunch break during the summer, read all the Grisham Novels, and got hooked on Law and Order. My favorite class in high school (beside Choir) was business law. I would visit, court rooms randomly and watch trials. I sat on the jury of a murder trial right out of college that was literally an old west shoot out. I visited several law schools, and even took the LSAT following my undergrad degree. The lawyer thing burned in me for a long time until I learned to talk, which is what I really wanted all along, to be heard.
Men with a penis problem can’t talk, they don’t know how. To get better we must learn.
I am friends with some crazy good story tellers, speakers, poets, and song writers. It drives me a little crazy sometimes when I get some really cool revelation on something and a day later they are saying my stuff better than me. It’s a gift, and I am happy for them if not a little jealous.
It was a lot of work for me learning to talk. It took a lot time along with uncomfortable levels of honesty for me to get there. What I mean by “being able to talk” is… It’s not just running your mouth and filling the air with words. But being able to talk is being able to specifically communicate your feelings, articulate situations/ scenarios , tell stories descriptively, and let those around you know what you think, Mattie Ross style.
Getting better isn’t just learning talk, but its having men around you that value what you have to say, having someone to listen, and care. Some of the most fantastic things come out of our mouths when we are in good company because we feel secure, loved, and accepted.
Things really changed for me when I was 23 and made my first real friends other than activity buddies. We would regularly sit around just talking late into the night. I read copious amounts of books. If I read or heard a word I did not know I would write it down, look it up and study it. I read list’s of feeling words and increased my understanding and vocabulary. I was hungry. I recognized that men who could talk had power and a freedom that others did not. But more than anything, I wanted to be known, to know others, and only words could get me there so I read, studied, and kept doing the work to be able to talk. I like a lot of solitude and had to push out of that place, get uncomfortable, and practice but I did it. Today If there is something going on inside me, or around me I can say it. I am confident, but it took time.
One thing I do that never get’s old is that I sit in a small group every Monday night where I get to talk uninterrupted for 5 minutes. I look forward each week to what new insight I might have about myself as I speak, but I probably get as much or more from listening to the other men in the group speak. They say surprisingly brilliant things that articulate my own feelings and experiences and it becomes part of me, it’s beautiful, we’re healing together. I am living my childhood dream of being an advocate. My super hero power is: I can talk. It took true grit to get there, but justice has been served because Tom Chaney is dead and I made lifelong friends along the way.