I’m an observer. I take great pleasure in watching the way people hold a conversation and the way their expressions, mannerisms and choice of words reflect who they are as an individual. I’m a keen observer to the point where speech is diminished completely and the voice inside my head takes control over my tongue.
If I were to blow the dust-covered coating away and dig out my old school reports, every single one will say: ‘Nabeela is a very quiet student…’ It’s written in black and white, there’s no in between because it’s the plain and simple truth. I am quiet. I always have been because this personality trait is innate within me and nothing will ever change that.
I’m okay with this small part of me because I know it doesn’t define me in any way. I have thoughts and opinions whirring around in my head but they never seem to escape my mouth. I think too hard about what I’m about to say that this over-analysis burns inside my head causing me to retract and not say anything at all. I can’t seem to find the words to explain this to you but it’s like the urgency to speak rises within my lungs but then deflates. But it’s not through fear of being judged so much as it is the simple fact that I like keeping things concealed. I hate the thought of me speaking too much. The secrets I keep buried within me are something I keep hidden for a reason. I feel like revealing too much of who I am would be a mistake and that if someone already knows so much about me, then there’s nothing more to tell. I am no longer a mystery that people wish to investigate and discover more about.
The analogy I have come up with is that I am an under hyped book. A popular book read by many is also discussed by many. Its plot, characters and ambiguous meanings are widely known. However an under hyped book is one that hasn’t been read by many and holds something even more dear and special, because it feels like more of a secret between you and the book, therefore having a much stronger and profound connection. People love reading hidden gems, they’ve read everything else and are always searching for something new and exciting. People want to know more about the book that no one else knows anything about. I believe that I am that under hyped book that holds a sense of fascination and mystery, I like that feeling of being unpredictable and unknown, I like making people work hard to find out who I am and what I’m really about.
“Why are you so quiet?”
I don’t know the answer to this question. It’s just who I am. But the question that seems to spring to mind after hearing this is, why the hell does it bother you so much? Is my inability to speak affecting you that much?
I hated myself for being this way. I wanted to be able to conjure the confidence to hold a consistent conversation without the usual utterances and silence that so often occurs. But I’ve come to the realisation that I find an odd sense of clarity and solace in silence. I find a deep energy within me when the world stands still in the witching hour so late at night. It gives me time to think, to reflect, to be the true version of myself. So when this silence arises between me and another I find it relaxing, almost comforting. Why do we have to talk when so much more is being said through our silence?
So onto another niggling thought; why are you so boring? Being quiet does not work in correlation to the notion of a person being boring. Define boring? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s a matter of perception. Does this mean that I’m not worth getting to know? Does the rest of my value automatically deserve to be trampled on because of this one external trait that I have no control over? Let us not allow my quietness to be the underlying factor to your judgement, because I promise that there is more to me than just my absence of speech.
I am an observer,
I am a listener,
I am an introvert,
I am quiet,
But I am me.
My personality is like a mathematical equation. Most people will probably never peel back all of my layers and find the magical letter X. But as you progress through trial and error, through messy scribbles of mind-numbing letters and numbers, you will find more to me than just my inability to speak. And those people who have the patience to work out this equation are the people I would like to surround myself with, instead of the people who raise their eyebrows and ask with judgemental expressions, “Why are you so quiet?”