Something I Wish You Knew About Us

I am quiet, yet I wish I could be heard because my words are important too. ~ Sara

I’ve been quiet or some might call it shy, my whole life. Even as a small child, my mom said I would play quietly by myself. When someone new entered the picture, I would prefer the comfort of my parents’ arms, my bedroom or even standing alone in a crowded room if it meant I didn’t have to speak up. I was comfortable with my friends, but was deemed the “quiet” one of the group. I went with the flow, never causing too much disagreement or inserting a firm opinion on the way things should be. As an only child, I didn’t have to fight for attention at home or run around like a banshee (the way my three kids do now). In class, I hated being called on to speak - even if I rose my hand to answer. (Let’s psychoanalyze that one another day, ‘mkay?) I rarely volunteered to come up to the board and was never the Teacher’s Pet. I followed the rules, put my head down, did the work and was in the middle class of student society. I just didn’t stand out.     

You can walk into almost any social situation and pick out the “loud” one, the attention seeker, it would seem. And for a female, it’s a weird, wild world to be loud, to be quiet, to be funny, to be serious, to be anything other than what someone expects you to be. Yet, I remember distinct moments in my life where I would have given anything to be her...the “loud” one. There she is again; all eyes on her. Capturing their attention, speaking her mind, telling her story...what about my story, my mind? Mine is funny/beautiful/important/awesome too. My story relates to what we are talking about. I have a good point to make. I want to say something. Yet every time I speak my voice is overshadowed by someone else. Now, everyone is trying to compete with her and I’m the “quiet” one. I’ll never be heard.

Being the center of attention was never the objective for me. I wanted the self-confidence, passion and energy that oozes out of the "loud" one. I didn't want to get overlooked simply because my physical voice and my inner voice was meek. And with time, I'm learning, growing and working toward that. Because at the end of the day, I'm the one who has the control. Not them. 

As I’ve gotten older, lost loved ones, been married, had children, gone through highs as well as some particularly low lows and seen friends come and go from my life I’ve realized the power a voice, can have. I’ve realized there are times you wish you had used that voice and many times you wish you hadn’t. I’ve also realized things aren’t always what they seem. You know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover? Sometimes the “loud” one doesn’t want to be the center of attention. And sometimes all the “quiet” one wants is the chance to be heard.

I am loud, yet I feel silenced by others’ perception. ~ Chrissi

I am loud, I mean you-need-ear-plugs-to-be-around-me kind of loud. This fact has been known to be true my entire life (so I hear). I have always been very confident and passionate about things < aka > confidence + passion = ear plugs needed. But owning that confidence and volume hasn’t always been received by others well.  I have to say that I have been told shhh, use your inside voice more than I’d like to admit. It might as well be stamped on my forehead. I think the most interesting thing about it all is the perception of being loud. Yes, I have always been known to want to do things my own way and again not quietly, but the perception that was wonderfully bestowed upon me couldn’t be more false. “Chrissi, the girl that always wants to be the center of the room”...FALSE!

The older I get the more I know this statement is the farthest from the truth. I DO NOT want to be the center of attention. In fact, I am actually very shy, but I do want to be heard. That statement may seem a little contradicting, but I want to inspire others, I want to communicate greatness, I want to be a light to the shadows of the room and I want to do it with enthusiasm and joy. Now that's me, but as much as I want to own that every single shh is a blow to my heart. I struggle daily with being my true self. Now as an adult, my biggest fear is being silenced. Still now people perceive me as loud, the one fighting for the center of attention; this is a very hard perception to grasp.  My volume is, what I’d like to say as, uncontrollable and I take offense every time my volume makes someone uncomfortable.

I don't think everyone that tells me to use my inside voice is trying to silence me or tell me I am trying to take center stage. Actually, it is my perception of the word shhhh that I have transformed into a negative word. Not only have I been perceived but now I am perceiving my perception and it is a never-ending cycle. The key to avoid not growing my insecurity and not letting it to continue to rapidly take over, is to understand what is initiating the cycle. Coming aware and training myself to what triggers my heart has truly helped me to speak life into my self-doubt. This has been the only way I have found that has allowed me to conquer the uneasiness I have about “my volume”.

I have to choose to take control, it's not on anyone else. I have to remind myself I am a communicator, I want to communicate JOY, I want to inspire others for greatness. I AM LOUD!

We can NOT let others’ perception of us change how we see ourselves.

You may have been spoken to way worse than this in your life. You may have been falsely perceived. You may be holding on to hurt someone else forced upon you. You may have told yourself harsh things. Whatever the case, it's time to fight back! Now is time to lift your voice and speak life to yourself on these issues.

Take time right now and fill in the blanks in the comments below...I am ___________, yet_____________________.

Please join us for our first Open Mic Night tomorrow, November 2 at 9pm CST.

Get comfy, pour a glass of wine, hot tea or whatever suits you and join us for some easy conversation.   

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