I am a quiet person.
You would not know this by reading my blog. Here I’m all, “Blah, blah, blah, chocolate, blah, blah, blah, headache,” but when I’m not typing on my laptop, I tend to keep my mouth shut. I tend to keep my mouth shut when I’m typing on my laptop too because talking while typing is weird.
To be a quiet person is to always be defending your right to silence. No, there is nothing wrong with me. If I don’t have anything to say, I don’t say anything, and I’m often thinking things I know better than to say out loud. But to be quiet is to be thought defective or stupid. It’s having a Kindergarten teacher who wants to hold you back because you don’t socialize with the other kids. (Who wants to chat with Kindergarteners anyway?) It’s having a professor tell you, “I always worry about the quiet ones.” It’s riding in elevators, knowing you’re supposed to chat about how cold it’s been but not being able to bring yourself to talk about such inanities. It’s dreading going to the hairdresser because you know she’ll try to talk to you about your plans for the weekend and what movies you like. It is being cornered by loquacious people who talk and talk and talk and you nod and “Uh, huh” and don’t know how to stop the verbal diarrhea spewing out of their mouths. It is being told you are a good listener.
Sometimes my mom calls me and I have nothing to say. I’m not angry, I’m not tired, I just don’t have anything to talk about. Sometimes I visit my brother and would like to just sit at the table and know I don’t need to say anything. It’s the comfortable silences I like. We don’t have to fill up the room with empty talk. Fill it up with undemanding quiet instead.
Perhaps this is why I have developed my “on” personality. I turn that part on when I have to be on stage and entertain and interact. It started out being a fake part of me, but I’ve used it so much that it is more real. I can flip the switch and be outgoing and confident and funny. But I can only power that personality for so long before I need to flip the switch off again and come home and sit on the couch. I like to just sit, to stare. The value of doing nothing is underrated.
I am quiet. I’m not broken or sad. I’m not ignoring you or shy. I just have nothing to say and when I say something I like for it to have meaning. My words should have value. I wish I did not have to defend this.