Sunday 19 July 2020

I like quiet

I like to be quiet. Many people would not necessarily have guessed that, because I'm 'loud-presenting'. In fact, I can be quite loud. I've never liked it about myself. But being loud always seemed to be easier than being quiet, because if you're loud the worst that people will think is that you're a bit obnoxious. And I can handle that because maybe I am a bit obnoxious. But if you're quiet, people worry that something's wrong because that's what being quiet means, right? It means something is wrong and then they won't leave you alone because they think something is wrong. Because you're quiet. And the one thing I like less than being loud is people thinking that I'm quiet and that, therefore, something is wrong. So maybe I don't like being quiet, I like being left alone and sometimes it feels like the only way to be left alone is to be the centre of attention. Hiding in plain sight, I suppose.

I saw a tweet recently trying to put a positive spin on lockdown and coronavirus. It asked what were those things from lockdown we would want to keep. I quite like the fact that people don't really touch me now. Walking is also fun. But mainly, not being expected to go anywhere or see anyone. Because I like to be quiet. I like to stay at home and read and write blog posts and scroll through Twitter. I like knowing that no one is judging me for that or worrying, "...because you seem quiet, is everything okay, you're not normally like this," except I am because that's me and it's just impossible to be quiet in a world that's so fucking loud. All the time. So I am loud because I have to be, not because I want to be but you think it's just who I am and then when I get so tired of pretending to be loud to fit in and I just shush for a bit. Because I just want to be quiet but it's not quiet if everyone is sort of worried about you, that's lots of noise and I don't like noise. I like quiet. Maybe it's because inside my head is loud enough. Maybe it's easier. Less performative. Just simpler. To be quiet. Don't have to worry about saying the wrong thing in the wrong way at the wrong time.

When I lost my voice, I was quiet all the time. Obviously. And yes, it was humiliating trying to order coffee with a note on my phone. Thanks for asking. But it was also great because no one expected anything from me. I could just sit. And be quiet. No one worried that I was sad or upset or that anything was wrong. Ironically, of course, because this big thing was wrong, I couldn't fucking speak. But no one worried, because they knew that and therefore didn't have to ask what was wrong, so they just let me be quiet.  And I liked it. No one worried. I could just be. I didn't have to do anything. Which made more sense to me, I think, because, after all, we are human beings. Not human doings. Sometimes we just need to be. Quiet, yes, but also just be. And I think it's okay. It's hard, but it's okay. To be quiet.

I don't really know the point of this post. I guess it doesn't matter. Sometimes being quiet is a sign something is wrong. Sometimes, often, usually, most of the time it isn't. It's just being quiet.

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