For most people, I come across as this loud, brash and obnoxious girl. I remember my high-school days where I was friends with a very popular [affable/ liked by ALL] girl. Then we became the best buddies. She was liked by all – teachers/ peers/ seniors/ juniors but I wasn’t. We were VERY alike – even in terms of looks. We almost looked similar, we had similar fashion sense, we both liked to write, we were both pranksters, we were everything each one of us was. Yet, it was strange the way she could attract everyone and I repel.
If she was talking to a group of people [which was almost always] and I were to walk into it, each one in the group would make excuse or leave without making one leaving just the two of us. I thought they were intimidated by me and at times I even flattered myself to think that they were jealous of me being friends with the most popular girl.
And then, on one of such occasions I joined in the group again and everybody left again but one. Then there were three of us chatting away, oblivion to the third girl’s shock [which was unveiled during the “goodbye”].
Before we parted, the third girl told me “Hey, I didn’t know you’re this cool!”
“Why, what did you think I was like?” I asked back.
“I always hear you talk in a loud voice, laugh like a hyena… I always thought how anyone can talk to a person like you… I never thought you were cool, I’m sorry.”
Let’s call her candid because she was – candid and honest. Yes, I am loud. It’s my vocal cord – gift from the Almighty. No one in my family has a vocal cord like mine, I thought I was blessed. I have what can be rightly called “a very commanding voice”. Anyone who speaks to me over the phone can never imagine that ey are talking to a cute barely-five-feet human being. O yes, I am cute when I’m not hot 😉
Even at work , some years later I went through a similar nightmare. It was nowhere like high-school, though. There were big bullies, “experienced” in another word. I was still loud and hence deemed obnoxious. Here, I was deemed so obnoxious that everyone seemed to wait for the next mistake I’d commit and fortunately for them it happened very often. One fine day, I quit.
I got promoted within the first two years I was there and it was then they began to “love” me. The colleagues with ever-ready magnifying glasses for my mistakes hid their device and instead plastered a “we’re your friends” smile. I had worked hard, fought my battles and so was being given the honour of avenging them by becoming their boss. That’s when I quit. See how I’m more than my loud voice!
After that fine day, I ended up working at a childcare centre and completely fell in love with the job. I was so eager to be liked, I did almost everything I was told to. Mind you, my voice was still loud and once again I was deemed obnoxious, needless to say. However, they accepted me for my hard-word and passion.
Then one day, the centre’s cook called in sick and I was the only staff there along with the director, for the opening shift. The director asked me if I could help in the kitchen. [Besides being kitchen-phobic, I don’t know how to cook or boil or broil or you name it and I wouldn’t have a clue]. She assured me she’d help me and that I just had to be there to see if what was being cooked to boil, boils. I agreed.
Everything was going pretty well with the director keeping her words until lunch time. I [and the director, of course] forgot to make a separate gluten-free lunch for one child. She apologised to the teachers/ carers and took the blame upon herself but later they started making fun of me. They made jokes about the episode, me being the butt of it. For a while, I took it all with my head held high. There were more jokes and just when I couldn’t take anymore, I broke down. I cried [I hardly cry in public but that day I just cried]. I felt awful, guilty and good-for-nothing and so I cried. No one in the centre knew what a “softie” I was, until that incident.
I don’t know why I am perceived this way – obnoxious, loud and brash. Is it because I have a loud [intimidating] voice? Is it because I DO laugh like a hyena when I laugh my heart out? Is it because I have broad shoulders for a petite girl? Is it because I’m smart, clever and witty? Is it because I am quite knowledgeable in things I talk about? Is it because of the way I walk? Is it because I’m always so helplessly melodramatic? Is it because I know how to hold my head high even when I lose? Is it because I want everyone around me to feel better? Is it because I’m too pleasing that it begins to look like I’m faking it?
I really have doubts if my friends and family ever genuinely feel sorry for me. They might pity me when I end up “down in the dumps” but I doubt if they might ever feel sorry for me. I don’t blame them… it’s just that I’m stuck with this repelling personality and there’s nothing anyone – myself included – could do about it.
Nevertheless, I love myself for who I am because I am more, way lot more, than just my loud voice.
So here’s a plea – Next time you judge a loud girl for a brash and obnoxious kind, please look beyond her voice. She may have been completely misunderstood, she may even be a softie inside, she may be more than just a loud voice, she might be ME.
p.s. I’m not a Taylor Swift fan but this song’s struck some chord!!!