Michelle Kim, Groton School
Oct 31, 2019

All my life I’ve been loud. Loud in class, loud in home, loud everywhere. You could drive me to a 7-Eleven and I would probably hold a noisy conversation with the hotdog stand or Slurpee machine. Despite my deafening approach to life, I wasn’t encouraged by many to be as loud as I was. My teachers would slip in little hints to my parents during parent conferences that I had a lot to say, while friends would blatantly tell me to shut up. 

Do people like silence that much? Is silence something so sacred that even the presence of my voice is a desecration? Two thoughts simmered in my head for a while. I experimented, clamping my mouth shut in certain situations. 87.967% of the time, everyone noticed. Many approached me, asking if I was okay or if something happened. 

“No,” I’d reply, immediately silencing myself after. 

It felt great to not talk. Not because I didn’t have to move any jaw muscles, but because I had a form of indirect power. Here is a new version of Michelle Kim, a cooler one because she’s silent. My silence worried some, intimidated most. However, my forced muteness shifted from a lighthearted study to an ominous reality. I found myself alone in my dorm as every other Grotonian was on the football field, cheering as the quarterback made his 2394735th touchdown. I walked by myself not because I loved silence; I had music accompanying me as I trudged on. I had become too attached to this experiment and molded myself to the limitations of the project.

 

This comes full circle. Be loud. Voice the things you want to voice, and say it proudly. Butt heads with people when you feel that gut-tug! Spice up your life! Obviously, don’t take this advice to scream Katy Perry lyrics during the SAT. Words paint the pictures of our lives, and no one wants a blank canvas. Don’t let others influence how you weigh words. “Silence is powerful.” Indeed, it is. However, too much of it contradicts its purpose.

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