Here's To The Quiet Ones
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Here's To The Quiet Ones

What happens when we can't voice our thoughts?

Here's To The Quiet Ones
Viena Murillo

I've never been quick with words.

I know, coming from the person writing this article, it might be a tad bit unbelievable or maybe just concerning. But, see, in a way, it's actually true. I was always the quiet kid, everywhere I went. In my family, in school, in my dance practices, which was kind of dumb in my opinion. Who needs to be talking when dancing, anyway? Yet, I was always called out for it.

"Why are you always so silent?" "Aw, poor child, has a mouse eaten your tongue?" "Look, Viena, you haven't said anything the whole night, are you okay?" "Why are you so awkward all the time?" "That Viena kid sometimes worries me, I don't know what's going on in her head."

Oh, boy, if only you knew all that is actually running through my head. Every day. Every minute.

The problem wasn't that I didn't want to speak. It was that I had no idea how to express what I wanted to say. All the jumbled mess inside my mind, I tried to make sense of it as it gurgled out of my mouth. Yet, it was impossible. If anything, it was even more confusing that when it had been just bouncing around my head. I ended up just keeping it all locked; it was better than getting through those awkward encounters when I would voice a thought, just to get shut down again.

I've always been a strong advocate that everyone has something to say. Everyone has a voice. However, I felt like I didn't have a voice, to express all that I wanted to say. It was so frustrating, it made me want to drill my head to see what in the world was causing my thoughts to mess around like that in the first place. Turns out, it was only who I was. I hated it. I can assure you, dear reader, that I am not the only one feeling this way.

Then, when I was 11, I was given a journal for my birthday. It was your typical 'girl-ish' journal, the pink one with glitter made to accommodate to the social idealization of what femininity is. Oh, yes, I went there. But, this is not the central point of this article. At least, not today.

One day, after a pretty harsh day at school, I ran in my room and slammed the door behind me. My head was running, echoing words from a mean-spirited girl still at the back of my ears. I remember my mom had asked me what was wrong. I didn't know what to tell her, I couldn't tell her. I'd sat in the front seat with my arms crossed, willingly staring at the car window so she wouldn't see my eyes watering. Once in my room, I stopped trying to hide it any longer. That's when I saw the forgotten journal lying facedown on my carpeted floor. I snatched it, got a pen from inside my backpack and just started to write.

I'd never done this before. Sure, I had writing assignments for my English class once in a while, yet I'd never written down anything for fun. I recall the pen scratching angrily over the cheap paper, just letting whatever thoughts were in my head to fly down my arm, into my hand and to the paper. At first, it was just an angry jumble of nonsense. By the end of it, almost an hour later, it was an anecdote. A story. Yes, exaggerated by the hand of a slightly dramatic 11-year-old child, but it was there. Slowly, feeling as if a giant burden fell off my chest, I dragged myself out of my room and showed my mom the piece of paper. Suddenly, she understood.

That was my little, own "eureka!" moment. I had discovered the power of writing.

After that, I wrote down everything. Feelings, thoughts, random little stories that popped up in my head. Harry Potter was pretty big back then (and honestly still is for me, but that's also for another day) and I remember feeling like the pen in my hand was my wand. Cliché, I know. But, it's hard to tell that to the young girl, who had finally found a voice, and saw magic behind every word she wrote.

Because words are magic. Isn't it crazy to sit down and think about how I just managed to string a ton of letters together and tell you this short story, and you have managed to understand it and developed your own feelings towards it? Words can make you laugh, can make you cry, can be as beautiful as a summer sunset, or as horrifying as that dreaded Finals week. Words can give people power, a voice, when they feel like they don't have any. Words can end wars and demand justice.

It would be nice for all us to sit once in a while and ponder this. Writing is powerful, and it can give us, the quiet ones, an opportunity to speak up. It can give all of us an opportunity to share our feelings, thoughts, ideas, dreams, music, everything good with life. And, as we all must've noticed by now, in the wrong hands, words can be dangerous. We shouldn't let this happen.

Isn't it what this whole platform is about?

So to you, the quiet one: I encourage you to get a pencil, a pen, anything, and start writing on any surface you can. Get those thoughts out. They deserve to be heard.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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