- I am far from perfect. I fear a lot of things; most realistic, yet all irrational because the only thing I should truly fear is God. I find myself fearing the little things and being afraid of God. I fall every day: I have cursed, I have judged, I have neglected to do God's Will, I have put my foot in my mouth countless times and I have given up. It is obvious that I cannot live life on my own. It is utterly impossible. I am dependent. I am needy. I am selfish. I am sinful. I am human.. However, the most important thing about me; I am forgiven.
My mother told me I was deathly shy and rarely spoke before age three. My oldest brother was playing with me one afternoon with a plastic cooking pot, trying playfully to get me to speak. It worked like magic! I began to converse among my family and they couldn’t get me to be quiet. Yet as soon as I walked out the front door of our home, I clammed up. I did not look anyone in the eye or utter a single noise. Whenever a stranger walked within ten feet of me, I let my hair fall over my face like a curtain and the collar of my shirt went into my mouth to give me a reason not to speak. All I wanted was to be invisible. It took a pivotal situation in life to determine whether I either stayed mute or spoke, ending my silence.
Although I had friends, I was never the one to take the lead. I never initiated conversations, hangouts or the friendship itself. Into my teenage years, I followed my friends, doing whatever they wanted to do, whenever they wanted to do it. Countless times I found myself over at my friend’s house helping with her homework at two, three in the morning. Her thoughts became my thoughts, her opinions were fact and her life was the best of the best… until I didn’t feel like myself anymore. Please don’t get me wrong; I had opinions, big dreams, ideas, comments, witty jokes, snarky jabs, wise and sometimes unwise answers, and I yearned to share all of them. But I was never one to spit out a random thought just to spark conversation. I stayed to myself, smiling timidly whenever a question was asked, pretending I had nothing to say.
I lived in my own mind, totally unconcerned about the social world around me. I had a lonely thought process, accepting and believing that no one cared. As I grew older, I found it easier to speak when I wrote. I believed, or rather I hoped, that no one took the time to read my writings, yet I craved to be heard, that someone cared enough to listen. I knew I could not “write” forever, I desired to speak; I had to speak.
After years of being a follower to a born leader, I was weary. I had been pushed to the limit of my faith, of my morals, of my own existence. I had followed my friend for years, down the same paths, doing the same things, and all to keep my silence because I was too scared to speak. And then I was blamed for being silent, for being shy, for being a follower. What I had to offer in our friendship was not enough, was my fault. So I spoke up. I voiced my opinion about our friendship and that was not enough either. I gave my friend an ultimatum. She either accepted me the way I was, or forget about our friendship. In her normal way of solving issues, she wanted to analyze, hash out and bend my thoughts back to her point of view so all would be right in her eyes. And I replied with silence.
We didn’t speak at all for two months. On the occasion that we did meet, our falling out was brought up and I was asked to do things her way. So all I could do was say “no” and continue my silence. Because of my silence and standing my ground, I realized my thoughts were valuable. She realized she had not respected me. For once in my life, silence was my voice and turned out to be the most crucial thing I could do for our friendship.