Today my poetry professor walked into class and said,
“Remember how we talked about catcalling last class? On accident?”
We all nodded. Often times, we have a discussion in class that we didn’t plan on having and it’s really interesting. It stems out of what we write, or what we read.
“Well I said what I thought I had to say. But then I got in the car to go on a trip this weekend, and I was thinking about it the whole way, and I couldn’t stop talking to myself. I was just thinking: Why didn’t I say this then?”
We all laughed and clapped in agreement. She told us the rest of her thoughts, and we all marveled at what she said.
This happens more times than not. The conversation ends and we move on, thinking of all the things we could have said and would have said and should have said. We think it’s over, so we silence our voices.
But today, my professor taught me a valuable lesson.
It’s not over until you say it’s over.
If you have more to add, add it. If you didn’t mean it, take it back. If you have something to say, speak up. If you think something is wrong, say it. If you think something is right, praise it.
It doesn’t matter how much time has passed. Sooner is better than later—but it’s never too late.
All it takes is saying: “Hey. Remember that one time? Well I was thinking about it, and this is what I really have to say.”
Silencing what we mean and how we feel happens in everyday conversations, in every setting. In the classroom, in our workplace, at home, with friends. We often don’t think about what we really want to say until afterwards; we’re only human. We need time to process. And as individuals, we have to take the time that we need.
Here’s the catch.
Even when we feel like it’s too late, it never is.
It’s only too late if you never say it.
Whether we’re sorry, whether we’re not sorry, whether we’re mad or angry or happy or baffled or insightful.
It’s not over until nothing comes out.