When I was a wee lass, I was hella hella HELLA shy. I hated school because I had no friends. I had no friends because I couldn’t say word one. It’s not that no one wanted to talk to me, it’s just that it was impossible for me to talk back.
I specifically remember thinking that I wanted to be like the loud girls, the ones who said and did what they want without fear of reproach. I specifically remember thinking that I did not want to be afraid of anyone anymore, if anything I wanted people to be afraid of me. CORRECTION: It’s not that I wanted anyone to be actually AFRAID of me, it’s that I wanted to be a person with opinions rather than a person who went along with other people’s opinions. I just wanted a little self-assertion and self-identity.
I came out of my shell and like all quiet people who go loud all of a sudden, it was a little like having way too much toothpaste come out of the tube at once. Annoying, even to me.
Then I went through a shame phase of, “Coleen why don’t you just shut the funk up and keep your babbling to yourself?” when I got to high school. I basically spent the first two years walking down hallways that I know no one travelled, eating lunch in dark corners and basically just sticking to myself, barely even raising my hand in class.
During the summer of my Sophmore to Junior year I had a very crystal clear “Fuck this” moment. I decided to start off having a good time, not being loud but not being a wallflower either. And I had a great two years so I’m glad I made that leap.
Since high school, I’ve been going through the same shit. Periods of veritable silence followed by another period of almost nonstop jabbering. Although this (current time) may seem like a period of nonstop jabbering, you don’t see me. Since we don’t know anyone in LA, I don’t talk to anyone, ever. I talk to Kristyn. I talk to my boss about work stuff. Very rarely do I make smalltalk with people at work and then it’s only if they talk to me first.
At home, I talk to the cats/rabbit all day long which Kristyn ribs me for. She’s like, “You have GOT to find another human being to talk to!” Haha. But it’s weird, I’m kind of enjoying the silence. I miss my family and friends back home but I kind of like being in my head for a little while. The past few years were a veritable HURRICANE of chatter. Good chatter but endless chatter nonetheless. I feel very clear-headed here. My thoughts are my own. My goals are unimpeded. My days and my time are basically my own. I’m sure it will get old eventually but for right now, I’m very happy where I am.
The ONLY problem is that in order to succeed in entertainment, you have to make connections. You have to chat and sell yourself. At my last job, chatting was totally frowned upon. We all had so much damn work and worked with deadlines so close to the bone that any second taken from that was a potential deadline missed. The office was pin-drop silent. Coming from my job previous to that was difficult because that place was a caucophony of sound and I added to that shit regularly. So coming off a job where I was expected to be quiet all day long, it’s hard for me NOT to be quiet at work. I think this makes my co-workers think I’m standoffish or closed off. I’m not. I like everyone there and wish I could get out of my box a little bit. I’m afraid, in this way, that I’m not making the most of this experience. BUT, it is what it is, I suppose. If nothing else, I’ll be remembered as diligent which isn’t a bad adjective to have attached to your name.
The only thing that’s kind of bad about the Quiet Period is that it can get lonely. I got really lonely at my last job. The only people I really talked to were my clients and vendors who weren’t always so kind. It really made me be unhappy at that job which stinks because that was a good job. I really liked the people I worked with and I really liked the company. Ah well.
Anyway, I don’t know what I’m getting at here, the Quiet Period is just something I’ve been contemplating lately and felt like discussing. It’s weird to have finally lived long enough to be able to recognize patterns in myself. It’s nice to be at a stage in my life where I can see these patterns for what they are and made a DECISION to change it or to leave it. In the past, going through these periods sparked an existential crisis in me. “WHO AM I?!” But these hills and valleys ARE me. I AM quiet/loud/shy/outgoing. It depends on how I feel, who I’m with, where I am and that’s alright.
Okay, enough babbling about not having the opportunity to blab enough. I gotsta GO!