Shoot, I guess I should post or something. Oh, I know! Here's something I wrote for my English class that actually received a decent grade. With some edits.
I am the quiet one. I’ve always been the quiet one. It’s what teachers say with a well-intentioned smile. It’s what my friends call me, only half-jokingly. It’s what strangers, the kind ones, must think of me when everyone else is socializing and I’m just sitting back, staring at my cuticles.
My friend and I were talking recently when she joked that I could become mute and no one would notice for a week. This is a bit of an exaggeration, but it wouldn’t have been funny if it wasn’t rooted in truth. And the truth is, I am quiet.
It stems from shyness, from being afraid. I’m not quiet because I don’t like people. On the contrary, I like them so much I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing. And, adding on to that, small talk isn’t my thing. I prefer not to talk unless I have something to say. I’d rather listen than speak, and I’d rather sit by myself than get up to join a group of people I don’t know. I’m not just quiet. I’m shy. The two go hand in hand in my case.
It’s not that I want to be quiet. Out of all the traits out there, ‘quiet’ isn’t one you necessarily want to list on your resume. It’s not a bad thing, though, or at least it shouldn’t be. There’s nothing inherently wrong with not wanting to talk. There are plenty of times I find myself wishing everyone else would be a bit quieter.
But the world, in case you hadn’t noticed, seems to favor extroversion. School depends heavily upon interaction. Group projects, presentations, class discussions are all things that make me tense and they are all things I am expected to participate in. School is not for the quiet, and neither, I’m told, is real life.
It’s hard being quiet. The actual not talking part is beyond easy. It’s natural. It’s comfortable. But the implications of that not talking aren’t always great. Society tends to value those who are outspoken, confident, and brave. The ones who are friendly and talkative. As for those of us who prefer for whatever reason to keep to ourselves, we are the ones destined to be wallflowers.
That’s not, of course, to say there aren’t advantages to being quiet. For one thing, you get to continually surprise people. With some individuals, you know their entire life story before you even know their name, but quiet people are revealed more slowly, in layers. Maybe it’s weird, but I enjoy it when people look at me and say things like, “I didn’t know you played the guitar. That’s so cool!” Well, yeah, that’s because I don’t mention it, but thanks.
I am quiet, but perhaps as a result of this, every little interaction means more to me. A smile, a wave, a quick question. It means a lot to me when people take the time to talk to me. I may not talk a lot, but when I do, it’s more significant.
There are times, every day, when I wish I was louder, when I wish I talked more. If this was something I could change easily, believe me, I would. There are so many things I wish I could say that pile in my brain. Things I could say, things I would say, if only I had the guts. Just because I don’t initiative a conversation with someone doesn’t mean I don’t want to.
Other people are defined by other adjectives. They’re pretty, loud, funny, obnoxious, smart...all manner of words. And me, I’m quiet.