Wednesday, June 7

I Have A Voice, I Will Be Heard

“You’re so quiet”

 “You’re so shy!”

 “Can you just say something?”

 “Is something wrong?Are you alright?”

I heard these countless times. While you may think being called shy or quiet is a good thing. Perhaps even a compliment. To me it was as if someone was telling me how ugly I am, how fat I am. You’re so quiet. You’re so shy. These words followed me for years. Even today I sometimes still get told how quiet I am. The only difference is that I know that it’s okay.

Some people are sporty. Some are dramatic and some are chatty. I am quiet. But I am not just quiet. There is so much more to me than the amount of words I utter. I remember once when I was about 12. It was a new school which meant new people. I remember my friend and I talking with these new girls. I was happy. I didn’t realise at the time, that I wasn’t saying anything. It was normal for me not to say anything, as normal as breathing air. My friend turned to me, exasperated, and said “Can you just talk? Say something, anything”. I was stunned. I wracked my brain for things to say. Literally nothing came to mind. I probably spent 20 or 30 minutes sitting in silence, concentrating on something to say. As time itched on, I was getting more paranoid that I still hadn’t any input in the conversation. I felt sick and embarrassed. Until finally I asked, “What’s for Irish homework?”. I have no idea if anyone replied because I was so relieved that I actually said an entire sentence.

I wasn’t a mute. It’s not like I never talked to anyone. I had friends and family and chatted happily to them when I had stuff to say. But being told that I was shy, hurt my confidence so much. Like hello? Why would you tell a shy person that they’re shy? That’s like having a humongous spot on my nose and someone coming up to me to inform me that I have a spot, right there, on my nose. Well, blimey, how could I get through life without ever knowing? Gosh thanks, you’re my hero.

Through blogging I’ve found a form of communication I enjoy. You see, I do have a voice and I do have a lot to say. Just because I don’t stand on my soapbox and shout to everyone who passes does not mean my opinion is any less valid. I am okay with being quiet now because I know it really doesn’t mean anything. In fact I’ll take it as a compliment next time someone says it to me.

I've come along way since my 12 year old self. People are surprised when I tell them how very anti-social I am and how hard it can be to keep a conversation going sometimes. I'm much more comfortable in my self now. In fact I can be very chatty depending on the topic. I know a couple of people my own age who are even quieter than me at 12 years old. And that's totally okay. But it does not mean their voices won't be heard. When they are ready they will speak their mind, until then don't exclude them for being quiet.

I am a girl. I am human. I am a blogger, a feminist, a reader, a baker, computer scientist. And yes, I am quiet.

I am Marian.

Thursday, June 1

Poetry: The Last Goodbye

I first began to read poetry in school. Well actually if you count nursery rhymes as a sort of poetry then perhaps I've been reading it my whole life. In school though I've come across poems that I love, that I found a deep connection with, even though the writer is a stranger to me, somehow their words speak sense. Other times the study of poetry has been a nauseating chore. A dreaded 12 page essay on contrast and imagery. It's been years since I've read poetry for the sheer enjoyment of it. And even longer since I've written my own poem. You see, I am not a writer. I blog and I think up stories in my head, but when it comes to making those imaginations in to words, I can't seem to do it. But then today, as I sat by my desk in work, pondering my C++ program, I started writing on a yellow sticky note. I don't know why I've decided to share it on my blog as it really is a very personal poem. To me it is very clear what this is about and probably those who know me will understand but I wonder what others can see in it. That is why I like poetry so  much. It's open to interpretation. Some of my favourite poets are Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson. And although I did not capitalise randomly in my poem, the urge was definitely there. Hopefully I shall write some more from now on.

The Last Goodbye ~ Marian

Chips drowned in vinegar, peas turned to mush
Food meant to comfort on this lonely night
even the stars are dim in the black
I need my strength, but I just can't eat.

They flock in and out, each bringing
their sorrows and sorrys .
Their eyes red with pity.
Too many people, too hard to breathe.
Family but  more like strangers.

I look in the mirror, but that's not me
Eyes are flat.
Where are the tears? Why won't they come?
Is this a dream, a nightmare?

I'm at my friends. Dad walks in.
We wrap our young arms around him.
I do not need to hear the words, somehow I already know.

Outside, I play with my friends.
Day turns to dusk.
Where is she?
I fear the worst.

Three o'clock, it's home time.
One by one they leave.
Only my sister and I are left.
No one is here for us. If only they had questioned this.

We make our way to school, the three of us.
It's sunny on this winter morning.
At the front gate, I look back.
She smiles and waves.
The last goodbye.

Do you read/write poetry? Who are your favourite poets?

Happy Reading!
Always, M