As the managing editor of this year’s debut special issue, I knew I had to come up with an idea that would really set the bar for a great volume. To be honest, I almost declined the offer to even make one. Thankfully, a midnight train ride home from school changed all of that.
The Eyeopener’s editor-in-chief had asked me to think about if I wanted to manage a special issue. Immediately, I began to get in over my head. “If only she knew how irresponsible I can be,” I thought to myself. “What makes me qualified enough to take on a project this big?” It certainly wasn’t my dashing good looks. I foresaw a likelihood of at least 69 per cent that I would crash and burn somewhere throughout this mission, should I choose to accept it. But of course, I had to keep that to myself.
That folks, is what sparked the fire that created The Unspoken Issue.
Without dishing out my entire life story, I can say that I was never really one to keep my thoughts to myself as a kid. I was loud, sociable and had a reputation for mischief. However, as I grew up, I found myself entering a whole new world where I couldn’t even speak to someone without feeling anxious. I began to internalize everything to the point where even the briefest interaction led me down a rabbit hole of unspoken misery.
Many years later, I’m glad to say I’ve found myself not wanting to leave campus at the end of the day because I love being around people so much. But that doesn’t mean the internal thoughts vanished forever. They still exist, and at that moment when I was spiraling into worry about a special issue I hadn’t even agreed to manage yet, The Unspoken Issue was born.
I started to wonder how we could open up the discussion about our innermost thoughts. We become increasingly complex, unique people day-by-day. No one’s thoughts are exactly the same as someone else’s. Wouldn’t that be nice to talk about?
You and I walk by thousands of others here at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), all with different life experiences and worlds of history that have developed them into the people they are today. If there’s one thing I’ve learned recently, it’s that you cannot judge a book by its cover. In simpler terms, you can’t tell who someone is just by looking at them.
If you were to look at a person walking by you on Gould Street or standing in front of you in the Balzac’s line, would you be able to deduce their personality with just a glance? Some of you might actually say yes. As an empath, I—
However, is it as easy as it seems to see someone’s facial features, clothes and expressions and learn their story? Can you see through their eyes the goals they’ve accomplished and failed, the interests that fill their spare time and the morals they hold true to their heart? Sure, if someone’s wearing a shirt that says 1989 (Taylor’s Version), it might be safe to say you can infer at least a bit about some folks’ “lore.”
But I’ve learned it takes a lot more than a single conversation or a brief encounter on the sidewalk to scratch the surface of discovering who someone is.
If you’ve walked any street downtown, Yonge-Dundas Square or anywhere else on campus, you’ve probably heard the chatter of the many voices that give TMU life. Communication is key when it comes to being a student. However, for every spoken word, there are a dozen that remain unsaid. After all, there isn’t enough time in the day to verbalize every last thing someone is thinking.
The Unspoken Issue explores the thoughts that reside in the depths of our minds. Your daily monologue and inner compass are what guide you throughout your days here as students or faculty at TMU. They’re what make you who you are and what will continue to build you as a person forevermore. These stories aren’t meant to expose your secrets and turn your cheeks bright red with embarrassment. This volume is here to hand the mic to your dormant thoughts and take us on a fearless adventure through the unspoken voices in our minds that we all recognize, but so easily forget.
Take a moment now before you continue reading to ask yourself this: What’s something you’ve thought about that you wouldn’t typically say out loud? Not because you’re hiding a secret, but because it’s so subtle that it rarely rises far enough to the surface to be noticed. For example, how often do you really articulate every strangers-to-lovers fantasy you have while commuting to school?
My hope for this issue is that you empathize with these stories and learn to love the unspoken thoughts that stir deep within. I hope that while you silently read these chaotic stories, personal experiences and silly little thoughts, you’ll laugh out loud—or at least let out a solid nose exhale.
These wide varieties of stories will all consist of the thoughts in our minds that traditionally remain unspoken and unheard. It’s time to shine a light into our minds and take a moment to speak now rather than later. Take a closer look and you might just find the joy, anxiety, rage and desire that you’ve been looking for all along.
Don’t be afraid to focus on these things because there’s no telling when you’ll lose your train of thought and never find out where it was going. Of course, there just isn’t enough time in the day to tackle all of these subjects at once, especially in one volume. So we’ve decided to ask this: If we opened the doors into the minds of TMU students, what would we find?
Well, that, my friend, is for you to discover.