They called me L O U D.
I don’t talk like normal girls.
I use my hands to express myself.
I talk an octave higher than everyone else.
I express my emotions when I am happy or upset.
Girls always said they could hear me a mile away. “You’re so loud.”, they would say. That’s the first impression I give people.
I never understood why that was bad. Why people felt the need to silence my voice because their voices quivered in comparison. Why it always left me feeling like I had done something wrong.
“Porque gritas? Aqui estoy.”, is what my Mom would say. Why do you yell. I am right here.
Minutes later she would grab the phone and talk to my Tias. In a voice louder than a whisper. I would hear her laughing and talking into the phone as if she was screaming to me from another room. But she’s talking to her sisters.
“Mami, why do you have to yell on the phone?”, I would ask.
“No estoy gritando. That’s how I talk!”, she’d answer defensively.
I am not yelling. That’s how I talk.
I find myself shrinking myself for a lack of a better person. Shrinking myself into a shell of who I used to be. My voice becomes softer than a whisper and causing me to mumble in places where I should be talking.
They call me “Loud”, when I express myself. “Loud” in places where I should be whispering. “Loud” when all I am doing is talking.
If I can’t be me, who should I be? I should stay quiet for the fear of what people will think of me. I should speak no louder than a whisper for people to find me delicate and gentle. But that’s not who I am. I am tired of shrinking myself to make other people feel better. Instead I speak louder than my voice. Causing shakes through my bones. Opening waves through the dark corners and making cracks through the pavement.
I would rather speak an octave higher than everyone else. I would rather express myself through hand gestures to get my point across. I would rather be LOUD, then ever be told to speak no louder than a whisper.
Loud is who I am.
Loud is how they see me.
Loud is what separates me from everyone else.
But I am not Loud. That’s just how I talk.