just a part of me

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

family parties,

hanging out with friends.

Being labeled,

The Quiet One

felt like wearing an oversized sweater,

one I could sink into and never be found.

In college,

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

calling me,

Shy Girl.

After living in a locker room

for what felt like the two years prior

seemingly ignored

by supposed friends–

I couldn’t help but accept the label.

Of course,

I am Shy Girl.

Naturally,

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,
my identity

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,”

“gender,”

“sexuality.”

I want the conversation to start including

“personality”

because the fact that children can feel unwanted,

not enough,

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? 

Advertisements

Quiet

All of the

chatter

and the

noisiness

and the

nonsense

“Break out

of your shell”

thrown out,

all over the

world’s spotlight

but it would never

be on me–

and neither would I

want it to be

at age three

I excused myself to bed

whispered an 8pm “Goodnight”

to keep the peace.

Kindergarden:

I journeyed from playdate

to playdate

how many friends

does one girl need, anyway?

Seventh grade:

bus rides in silence,

listening

Ninth, high school cafeteria

eating with Caitlin and a motley crew

because “Who else would I be with?”

I wondered how I would

ever matter

if I kept staying in on the weekend

with a good book, or a pen

to scribble a poem or two

about loosing you–

an introverted, soft-skinned self

that all along,

was just me.

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts?language=en

 

December 25, 2014