a love letter

this is a love letter to the language that taught me to be silent

I’ve always loved languages. Speaking, reading, writing, learning. But I’ve always been a shy person, especially when it comes to speaking. Last week I talked about how much speaking German scares me and how I can never seem to find the right words to say. As frustrating as it is, it’s not the whole story.

When I visited my friends in Germany last summer, I struggled with speaking a lot. Although I was frustrated with myself, most of the people I was with spoke enough English to understand me when I couldn’t bring myself to speak German.

Except for Josef.

Josef is the 10-year-old brother of a friend I was staying with and he doesn’t speak any English. Despite this language barrier, we became fast friends. We laughed and had inside jokes, we played silly games, and genuinely enjoyed spending time together. In the three weeks I was there neither of us said much because we realized we didn’t need to.

Our friendship taught me that the words we speak aren’t nearly as important as the moments in between. I learned that no matter what language you speak, laughter and silly faces are universal and that smiles say more than words ever could. I learned another language to connect with people, but I found that the moments I didn’t speak were the ones that really mattered.

so here’s to the silent moments, may they speak louder than we ever could


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