Come the Soft Voices

Come the Soft Voices

I’ve always been soft-spoken. When I speak, my voice is audibly quiet. I’ve been told it’s like a whisper sometimes. It’s surprising because most of my family is very loud. I’m used to it by now,  I roll with it. I dub myself the listener. In large groups, I love taking account of what others have to say, I sparsely comment myself. Often times, I’m okay with it. 

I’ll be real and honest here though, sometimes I just feel like I’m drowning with the soft voice I have amongst all the loud ones that take up so much prominence in this world. 

Just because my voice is soft, doesn’t mean I don’t have words to say. 

In college I would always be told to speak up, I would lose points for listening during a discussion instead of loudly shouting my opinion out above the others in the class. The times I did speak up, I either wasn’t heard, having to repeat myself over and over again or raise my hand to show people I was speaking, or I was met with hostile ears that would completely negate my opinion and viewpoints. One time I was even called a hypocrite for my viewpoint on a simple children’s book. This happened in multiple classes. My soft voice with its opinions wasn’t welcome.  They wanted me to use my voice to agree with the them and them only, not speak for myself. 

By my senior year, there would be times I would intentionally not say anything. If they were going to meet my viewpoints with hostility, and only listen to what they agreed with, then I was bound to be silent. My silence was loud, I stood out because I was the only person in the room who didn’t saying anything. Looking back on it, I’m not sure that was the right approach to the situation. Some may have label me a bad student, but in my mind was intent on standing my ground as a silent person. 

Just shy of two years out of college, I’ve begun to realize just because I have a quiet voice, doesn’t condemn me having to be a silent person forever. 

Although I do think I made a point in being quiet during the class by letting my silence be loud, I’ve let that come with me into the rest of my life. I don’t always want to be a silent person. I want to speak even if the world isn’t listening or doesn’t agree with me. 

Everyone can agree that this day in age is full of noise, and the loudest get the most attention. With the riots, tyrant social posts, and non-stop news feeds with bold headlines, it seems like the world only makes room for the blaring, strongly opinionated, and loud voice. People will only listen to the voices that tower above the rest, and it’s a fight to get there. It is intimidating. 

But I don’t think the loud voices aren’t the only important voices in the world. There is a place for soft voices too. I’ve been searching for where that place is, but I know there is a place for them. 

The quiet ones speak softly, shaking, a murmur under the noise. They are only there when you calm down and listen for it. 

Along with having a soft voice, I notice I water down the voice I have to accommodate what I think people want to hear. But I’m determined to take back my language. Not being afraid to make mistakes and being corrected in a beautiful way, but also taking into account that I’m not going to please everyone. 

Maybe it’s time we say come the soft voice, come the quiet speakers, and ready listeners. Keep talking, keep speaking, keep using your voice no matter how much of a whisper it comes out.  It’s time you speak what you have to say, to whoever is ready to listen, to those who agree and disagree with you, or maybe even if no one is listening all. Speak away. 

Staying Home, No. 3

I’ve been going on long walks every evening this past week, coffee or tea in hand. They have been my therapy. When you step away from the constant news stream, you see how life is still going on. The planet is still revolving, the trees are still blooming, storms are still brewing, you are still breathing. Life has not been canceled or postponed.

Beginnings

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But on a Wednesday, in a cafe, I watched it begin again. ~ Taylor Swift

Newness, fresh starts, endings turning into blooming beginnings. I could fill this whole page with métaphores and quotes about beginning again. But all I really need to say is that this ginger latte looks just as it tasted—amazingly delicious.

How as the start of 2020 been for you?

Autumn and Coffee and Books

Autumn and Coffee and Books

When I woke up early this morning, there was something different in the air. Maybe it was the fact that over the past week the temperature has dropped several degrees outside and the crips nature of autumn is starting to caress my windows, or maybe it is the strong pumpkin rum candle, the one that I can smell the heavenly scent of throughout the house, even if it’s not lit. 

No matter what it is, I can definitely tell that summer is coming to a close and fall is slipping around the corner.

The other day when I was heading out to my car, I looked down and there were a few leaves, dried and a brittle yellow. Although the majority of the leaves are still clinging to the branches, a vibrant green, within the next month they will be fading as they shout their last hoorah for the end of this decade.

The tree that is out in my front yard is huge and every year I get excited for its change from green to gold. The first year we spent fall here, I had my mom’s orignial Polaroid Spirit 600 that we found film for. I took it everywhere, including down the street where I catpured a picture of the tree in it’s radiant bloom. This little memory is kept forever in the squared-off corners of a piece of film. Although the same phenomenon is bound to return year after year, I have the picture to look at whenever I want to be reminded of it.

Even though fall is almost here, I’ve been trying to pay respects to the last of summer that’s not quite done yet. I picked seven tomatoes off my overly large tomato plant yesterday. I’m excited to get to try out a recipe where I’ll get to use them. Most of the time I just throw whatever I have in the pantry together–pasta, spinach, the garden tomatoes, cheese, and maybe a tad of salt and paper– and eat it like a smorgasbord of whatever sounds good at the time.

Lately, I’ve been working on an article for a magazine I’m freelancing for about specialty fall coffee in my neighborhood. Just on the Southside of Indianapolis alone, there are over ten local coffee shops. Tuesday, I went to six coffee shops in the Greenwood area. Each had it’s own aesthetic, distinguishing itself with key features, even though they all serve a similar purpose: to proved caffeine, drinks, and a place to cultivate community, even if it’s only a handful of strangers.

I love the spirit of coffee shops for this reason, not because they’re hip and cool nowadays, but because they’re spaces for communal existence, work, and to get to know people you otherwise wouldn’t have met.

I’ve met so many of the people in my life, that I wouldn’t have met in any other way, through coffee shops. Bookstores, too. I’ll have to write a whole essay about that sometime. Neadless to say, I’ve been enjoying my work lately, finding real fulfillment in it.

Another new thing: It’s the first of September and I’m taking a detox from social media. Namely, Instagram. September is the start of fall, my favorite season. And in honor of new seasons, I thought that taking a break from the scrolling and liking and constant connection would give me a nice breather. Instead, I’ll take stock of the what this year has so far gifted me. What the rest of this chapter, and the next, will hold. This year is the end of a decade, and next year is the start of a new one.

I deleted the app this morning, and so far I have picked up my phone about ten times and slid past pages of apps until I reached where Instagram used to be. When I don’t find it, it feels refreshing. I can regain control and focus on what I’m dedicating this month too.

While I’m taking this next month off of social media. I hope it’ll give me more time to finish a few books I’ve been flipping through but haven’t finished yet. The first one is When in French, by Lauren Collins and the second one is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. Fiction is definietly a love of mine, but I’ve been attracted to narrative non-fiction lately, it’s what I’ve been craving to write, too.

How about you? What are you planning for the start of fall? Are you reading anything interesting?

P.S. more thoughts about redefining my relationship with social media.

A Lovely Weekend

A Lovely Weekend

These past few weeks have been about soaking up summer. June has been penetrated with long drives through rual Indiana, writing freelance feature artilces, learning about tax forms and earning first post-grad paychecks, staying bunkered down through the tornado-fourming storms, and getting out when I can when the blue sky shows itself. This weekend has been especially wonderful.

Columbus Indiana has been a place I’ve been visiting every week, and every time I’ve found a little secrete of the small city–like a flying pig resting on a legde in a quiet ally that leads to more of the interesting archeticure. Did you know that Columbus was designed by several famous architects, both present and historical? The modern-mecca buildings are like nothing else you’ll see in Indiana and they have such an instering history.

On Friday, I kicked off the weekend by going to an escape room downtown Indy with my friends. We didn’t escape, unfortunately, but we were pretty darn close. Afterwards, we walked around the city, treated outselves to ice cream and fugde, and visted Rocket Fizz.

Yesterday was the Freedom Festival in my hometown, Greenwood. An annual festival that happens the week before the 4th of July. Although the day was pretty busy, I took over the instagram side of social media of our family buinsess for my mom, I think the best part was at the very end of the night, where it was just my mom and I walking through the crowds who were anticipating that evening’s fireworks. We ended up walking where concession stands and food trucks where set up, and at the every end of the long line of options, was Ben’s Soft Pretzels, the absolutly best pretzels ever. Of course I snagged one, along with cheeder cheese sause to go with it.

Today I have a few articles on deadline that I need to finish up. In college, one of my favorite assingments that I ever did was for my journalism class. We had to write a profile of someone or some place we thought was interesting. I loved it so much because I got to look closely at a subject, ask questions, and show their story in a way that it could be accessible to many. I never thought I’d get to do it as an actual job after graduation, but I am doing it. And I love it.

Oh, and of course I’ll be enjoying these beauties all day.

So what about you–how have you been spending your weekend?