“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi
I have currently found myself immersed in the New York Times bestseller “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain.  My sister- an avid reader and editor of the “Steamboat Pilot” (she has previously held other prestigious editor positions)- recommended this book to me.  I can’t thank her enough!
I have always been a quiet observer, a passive introvert- too shy to express my true self.  I used to think that “quiet” was a BAD, WEAK trait to possess.  I hated and punished myself for owning it.  As a child and young adult, it was hard to express myself- to speak up, to let my voice be known.  Overhearing others describe me as “stupid, slow, boring, anti-social” was extremely painful.  I was screaming inside and didn’t know how to process and release the hurt I felt from those tormenting words.  I was scared to death to speak up because I despised the spotlight, hated aggression, conflict, and confrontation.  I kept thinking “…if only they knew I was smart, creative, passionate…???”.  So I will show you some pictures of the days (and years) that I took that hurt and decided to starve myself…the worst days of my life…


18 Years Old | Already Self-Medicating With Alcohol


First Day as a Freshman @ at Indiana University
My College Years | Happy, But Emotionally Detached
“Living The Dream” in New York City | Pale, Hungry, and Miserable…”Eating Disorder” Completely (silently and violently) Taking Over My Life
Honeymoon, With My Hero
Anyone that is QUIET knows that it is easy to become an ECHO instead of a VOICE.  So I am asking of all of those parents with: introverted children; with children on the autism spectrum; or with children that just might be treated differently because of their unique view of the world…How do we cultivate these kids in a world that can’t hear them?
Parents and teachers should pay attention to these children whose talents are too often stifled…whether at home, school, or on the playground.  These children sometimes get overlooked. Coming from personal experience, we all try to force our own wants and needs onto our children…We want them to be on the best competitive sports teams, to attend the best “socially acceptable” schools, or to socialize in the never-ending “playdates” that are completely frickin’ exhausting!  Sometimes parents need to step back from their ideals and see what the world looks like to their child.
If your child is quiet, help them make peace with new situations, new people…but otherwise, let them be themselves.  Celebrate the originality of their minds! Don’t expect them to follow the “gang”, but let’s encourage them to follow their passions.
I must quote directly from the above mentioned book…Something BEAUTIFUL to take away…“Introverts are offered keys to private gardens full of riches.  To possess such a key is to tumble like Alice down her rabbit hole.  She didn’t CHOOSE to go to Wonderland, but she made of it an adventure that was fantastic and VERY much her own!”
…Now, as an adult and slowly learning to be comfortable in my own skin, I’m accepting that this label of being “quiet” (or “socially removed” at times) doesn’t have to be such a negative in my world.  I still struggle with my own insecurities and fears on a daily basis (but don’t we all?); and I admit, I use alcohol at times to ease my pain (that will be another blog post)…to feed the fire of my angst and insecurity.
But I’m learning that along with being QUIET, comes the qualities of: being a great listener; being thoughtful; being caring.  I love to smile, to laugh, to make people HAPPY.  I hated myself for so long…but I know I have a huge heart and deep strength!  To be “human” is a gift in itself.  We are created on this Earth to give value.  We are all our own unique design.
So now, at the age of 43, I have finally come to the conclusion…
Why Can’t Quiet Be Strong?
In my silence, I am strong
When I’m quiet, I belong
And in this silence, I am born…
Well time will tell you, you’re just getting older
And FEAR will teach you to shut your eyes
Well I’ve made amends with the bones in my closet
I was born alone, but I won’t die alone.

Song | Born Alone
Band | Morning Parade

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