Every time I open my high school yearbook and turn to the “Class Characters” page, I cringe to see my likeness starring back at me. Positioned by a photographer to appear standoffish–chin lowered, eyes averted, sitting back-to-back with my male counterpart. The caption underneath makes me want to tear the page from its binding. “Most Quiet” it reads, like an indictment against my character, something to be ashamed of and improved upon. Not quite like the other more sought-after “Characters” of “Most Likely to Succeed” and “Most Friendly”.
It’s a title I’ve worked hard to shake off for over 25 years.
That’s not who I am, and if those people who label me as such really knew me, the first description of my character would not be “Quiet”.
Even-tempered? Maybe. (I am a redhead, after all.)
I am an observer. I watch, and I listen, and I don’t say something unless I have a good reason. Silence does not intimidate me. I feel no need to jump in with mindless chatter because the person opposite me has nothing worthy to say himself.
If you call me quiet. You don’t know me.
I have a voice. I know how to use it. I use it wisely and intelligently, and I have no regrets when I choose my words.
I didn’t get where I am today by not speaking up for myself, for my family, for my career. I hope the lesson I’ve taught my children is that you don’t have to be loud to make a statement. Diplomacy and thoughtfulness make a far greater impact.
I am not quiet. When I have something to say, believe me, you will hear it.
It’s Five Minute Friday, and today’s prompt is “Quiet”. Don’t be quiet about who you are. Join us on Lisa-Jo Baker’s site and share your voice.