Living Out Loud | Teen Ink

Living Out Loud

September 20, 2015
By PhantomofBroadway GOLD, Cumberland, Rhode Island
PhantomofBroadway GOLD, Cumberland, Rhode Island
14 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
I may be small, but I've got giant plans to shine as brightly as the sun. -Astonishing, Little Women the Musical
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. -Macbeth

I was born with a loud mouth.

Not in the figurative sense, I am actually quite good at keeping secrets. I mean that I am literally a loud person, and I love to talk. My friends have heard me from the top floor of our school when I am beginning to ascend from the first floor, my voice almost always sticks out in a choir, and I am frequently asked by the respective authoritative figure to yell to get a bustling group’s attention.

I   am   LOUD!

It was not like anyone ever told me, “Hey, idiot, you’re being too loud.” It was more subtle than that. It came to a head when I was in a production at a local theatre of The Little Mermaid in ninth grade. I felt like there was some resentment from my other cast members. I eventually asked my friend who played Sebastian if he knew why. His response to me was, “Mar, you just have such a big personality. Not everyone can take it.”  This was not the first time I had been told something like this. The message was clear: the world wanted me to shut up.

I started with changing how I stood. I no longer took a confident neutral stance, but one that had slightly slumped shoulders and hands that held one another. I no longer approached strangers in group situations to make friends, but sat quietly with my head down. If someone talked to me, I would make conversation, even a few jokes. But I was trying to crush the loud, talkative girl that had earned me so many unsettling reactions from those around me. Every time I met someone new, I was so concerned they would think I was odd if I was loud. I genuinely thought people would be discouraged from being my friend, or even hate me.

I had not even realized I had changed so much until a singing teacher whom I respect immensely challenged me on my apologetic demeanor. There were many people in the class who I really wanted to like me, and every time I did something, I was worried the class would laugh, or I would look stupid and weird. The teacher told me flat out, “You need to stop apologizing for making strong choices. Every time you make a choice, you look to us for approval. Even right now, as you sit here in front of us, your body is apologizing for your presence.”

It was not until that moment I became aware that I was so concerned about the opinions of those around me. I was so worried about being conceived as the weird loud girl that I had manipulated my own personality and physicality to reflect that fear. I was forced to confront the fact that I had changed my outgoing attitude to fit some mold I thought the world had created for me.

From then on I would try to force myself to walk with my shoulders straight, look people in the eye when I talk to them, and talk to people who I had previously been afraid to talk to. Truthfully, I am still working on it. I still stare at the street instinctively and occasionally feel afraid to let someone I just met see the actual version of myself. But I am much better than I was even a month ago. I want the world to know me in all my glory: a singing, laughing, horrible-joke telling, answering-back girl.

I was born with a loud mouth, and I can’t let anything change that.

If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.
Émile Zola

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