The Quiet One

The Quiet OneI have always been one of those who think more than they speak. The quiet, shy, introverted, reserved… Not exactly the life of the party. Missing opportunities to share my thoughts while waiting for others to pause long enough to give me space. Or not knowing what to share until later when I have chewed on all the information and points of view flying around in heated group discussions. On top of that, I accepted the message all too well growing up that kids (girls) should sit still and be quiet. So when the world called for initiative, assertiveness, and active participation, I struggled, more often than not. I used to see this as pure annoyance and character flaw.

Of course, I hadn’t yet read the book Quiet, by Susan Cain.

Fortunately, humans can learn, and I learned to speak up when needed and own my opinions. Talk, as well as listen. But what I also learned was to value this quieter way of being. First of all, we don’t all have to talk at once. Second, I am sometimes able to notice things in myself and others that often get lost in all the noise.

Being a foreigner in a giant country where I blend in with dominant groups due to my white skin and privileged social location has given me plenty to think about. I have observed people’s reactions to me and each other, systems that favor some and punish others, and my own biases, as I catch myself enacting what society has swayed me to think of those who are “different” in some way. This site will be an outlet for some of my thoughts on that. Culture, society, mental health, my work, and the ways in which all that blends together.

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