I grew up in a world where it was not okay to be quiet–
in some ways, I still live there.
Soccer practices, soccer games,
school hallways, overflowing lunchrooms
hanging out with friends.
The Quiet One
felt like wearing an oversized sweater,
one I could sink into and never be found.
I spent one night peering into a bar
from a long, underaged line
and met a young man.
I spoke to him for ten minutes,
and he took my phone number
without me realizing it
(but that’s another poem).
He messaged me later
After living in a locker room
for what felt like the two years prior
by supposed friends–
I couldn’t help but accept the label.
I am Shy Girl.
I am The Quiet One.
Blurring into the background is just part of the package.
Society wanted personable presidents and extroverted aristocrats;
I was a simple shadow,
the pen that fell out of my hands.
Was I really ignored for being introverted?
Was I really unaccepted in full
because I’d rather listen to your story
than fill up space with my own?
Is it true
that this happens to children every day?
When we think “micro-aggression”
we often think “race,”
I want the conversation to start including
because the fact that children can feel unwanted,
simply because they are being themselves…
it is not okay in my book.
It’s only when I started writing it myself
that I realized being part “introvert”
is but a simple petal on a flower,
a single leaf on a tree–
it’s just a part of me.
October 1, 2015
Reading about micro-aggressions in graduate school brought up this thought, these memories. Can you relate?