Something has really annoyed me this week. I say this week even though it’s gotten on my nerves many times. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not a loud or obnoxious person. I don’t say much and I choose not to raise my voice. When I explain this as being just the way I am, people seem to understand. However, most people call me shy or timid. Why is this?

Why is it when someone isn’t loud they’re automatically shy? When I think of shy, the word scared comes to mind. I think of the times when children hide behind their parent’s legs instead of saying hi to the stranger. Parents blow this off as being shy. I’m most definitely not hiding behind anyone’s legs, nor am I afraid of talking.

In fact, I’m the opposite. Talking is something that I’m best at. I talk about the weather and how I love rainy days more than the sunshine. I also talk about my favorite TV shows and movies. Food, music, animals, and which cleaning product is better or worse for the surface you’re needing to clean. I talk about the most mundane things and even deeper and more intellectual subjects.

The difference between what society considers outgoing and social butterfly is that when it comes to my conversations, I don’t just have them randomly. I don’t just start talking about subjects that don’t matter and run my mouth like a rat on a wheel. When I say something, I want it to be meaningful. Not a pile of gibberish that is spoken just to hear what my voice sounds like. I know what it sounds like. I’ve had this voice for twenty-three years.

So this week’s poem isn’t about love or lust or envy. It isn’t about my faith nor heartbreak. This week’s poem is about exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a poem I wrote recently when this subject started to matter to me. I can’t stand stereotypes, nor can I stand someone judging another person when they don’t even know them.

Don’t mistake my quiet voice,
Or my silence as fear.
I’m not afraid of sound,
Nor am I afraid of people.
It isn’t fear that silences me.
It isn’t people that quiet me.
I’m not shy nor am I timid.
I’m my own person
Who just so happens to not say much.
Not because I’m choking on my words.
Not because my heart is beating out my chest.
But because I’m choosing not to.
I say only what I want to say.
And that’s good enough for me.

– If there’s anything that I want people to remember, it’s that I had a lot to say in so little words.

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