Trina lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share with her at itybytrina@yahoo.com.

I was once told to learn one new thing every day. Good advice. But harder than chewing ten year old rock candy to keep up with. Try it–for a week. Not the rock candy, that is asking too much of your teeth! But learn a new word, a new way to curl your hair, is a tuna sandwich better with mayo or miracle whip? (Mayo of course!) Any one thing, every day, for a week. Oh it’s possible, but it is demanding and harder than you think. Who knew you could cram new stuff into your brain no matter your age.

Just as hard as learning is teaching, explaining, telling, expressing or otherwise delivering your knowledge out into the world. Harder still is not delivering your knowledge out into the world. In other words keeping your pie hole shut and your opinions to yourself. A lesson I hope I have learned, but that does not make it any easier to not deliver my two cents into a situation. And that is where I found myself recently. Wanting to speak up, tell my opinion, speak my mind, and let my pie hole go whole hog as it were. But I did not go forth and I am still undecided if quiet was the right path to take.

I had to heed yet another piece of advice I got when I was but a youngster and my mouth ruled my mind, instead of my mind ruling my mouth. That advice was; if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. That is what kept me silent and my inside thoughts inside my head. But what would have happened if I had spoken up? What happens when you speak your mind?

Well this is what happens. You get all the stares in the room burning into you like your hair is on fire. You hear gasps and the air is sucked out of the room and passes over your head so fast that if you have a hat on it ends up in the next county. Your comments become fodder for the grapevine and beyond. Your stance on the subject you felt willed to speak up about is now in the record books for all eternity. Knowing all that, knowing that when you speak up, especially when you are on the small side of the yard divided by a white picket fence, is it worth it? You bet your sweet Bippy it is!

Maybe spontaneous combustion is a result of holding stuff in like holding back things you really want to say to someone. Like telling a good friend that moving across the country is not the best thing  for them. Or saying to someone you care deeply about that they are making a huge life mistake by just running from one thing to another without growing where you are planted. Could I exploded, actually explode if I keep the aforementioned pie hole shut and not mention that no matter how badly you want to go home again, you can’t. It is never the same once you have been out in the world. And for you to expect it to be the same is a pipe dream and not fair to you or the family you are moving back to be by.

Nope, I can’t say everything I want to say because I am of the old school that keeps their noses on their own side of the fence. Harder to get it chopped off that way. It’s that part of me that still believes that it is best to say something nice or say nothing. That part of me keeps me quiet and that makes me seem stand offish. Better stand offish than a bitter taste left in the mouth I say.

I continue to educate myself all the time as to which path to take. The easy path is not usually the best path. Which means the best path is usually not the easy path. So we all bump along, fall occasionally, get help being picked up and help others up too. But not saying what is on your mind is a daily decision we make. What makes it fun is that we actually do get to make decisions. Flip a coin, pull the short straw, or draw a decision out of a hat full of undecided decisions written on little pieces of paper. No matter how you decide when making a decision, to run your mouth or put a stopper in that hole under your nose, it’s ultimately your responsibility to do it in a way that is helpful and in the long run—okay, okay in the short run too–do decision making with forethought and reservation. Then you will sleep at night. Promise.