Indoor Voices, Please

June 25, 2016


I am constantly asking myself, “If I met me, would I like me?”


The first answer that pops into my head is, “Well, yeah! If I didn’t like me, why would I be this way? Wouldn’t I have changed myself a long time ago?” Like I said, that is always my initial reaction, but then I start diving deeper and questioning my character. 


I wish I was quieter. I’ve always been self-conscious about how loud I am. When I say loud, I mean volume and also the frequency and pace at which I talk. I feel like even if my volume is not turned all the way up, I am still talking a mile a minute. 


I can tell people do not want to hear me talk all of the time. Hell, I don’t want to hear myself talk all the time, but I find that my mind is always running ramped and my mouth is eager to get thoughts out before they can even be fully formed. Because of this, I’ve put my foot in my mouth more times than I can count and I’ve grown sensitive about being told I’m too loud. So if you ever find yourself thinking, “Jess, shhhhhh”, odds are I am also saying the same to myself in my head. 


Truthfully, I do not know where the talkativeness comes from. When I was little, I was more shy and reserved, but around the age of 12, I sprout some confidence. I wanted to stop being the shy kid and start being the funny kid. I was fond of the change within myself when it was new and fresh. Now? Not so much.


Here’s the dealio: I’m very insecure about my talkative nature. 


Sometimes I feel like “talkative” is synonymous with eager-to-please, know-it-all, or bossy. And there is no insult that hurts me more than being called bossy. I can remember my neighbors calling me that when I was little —I was the only girl amongst boys and it was almost instinct for me to want to take over and make sure everyone knew the rules of a game etc. 


I’ve recently realized that my biggest fear is being a “bossy” leader rather than just a leader. So sometimes, I just wish I could be quiet. I sometimes look around at my friends while I’m speaking and suddenly feel the need to mute myself out of embarrassment. Meanwhile, the quiet friends are the ones who are appreciated for the occasions when they do speak their mind or crack a joke, but they can also blend in and observe while others keep the social scene moving. No one dislikes them and I wish I could be one of them. I wish my mind and body would tell me that I want to be quiet, but I constantly feel myself wanting to shout. I constantly feel this need to release energy and let the words in my throat surface themselves and breathe oxygen. 


But I wish that need wasn’t there. So, I’m working on it. I’m figuring out which moments deserve silence and which deserve a roar.


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