My sister and I are both incredibly quiet by nature. Ask anyone. Our parents, our friends, our spouses (well, maybe not them…), our employers. Talking just isn’t really our thing.
I’ve long held it as a personal principle that I shouldn’t waste my breath on words that aren’t truly worth wasting the breath to say. Do I uphold this principle on a daily basis without error? No. I definitely do not. But I think it’s part of why I’m so quiet.
I wasn’t always this way. In high school, I kind of went through a boisterous phase that a lot of people mistook for confidence. I can tell you from my end that that wasn’t it. I think I was just kind of testing the waters, trying out a new version of myself, so to speak. And I can tell you from an equally honest standpoint, that I’m glad that version didn’t stick. Back then, I didn’t have anything valuable to say.
I didn’t have my own opinions or experiences to share. I based my value entirely on what other people thought of me and how I measured up to their standards. And I had some really great friends, yes, but I think I even placed too much weight and priority on those relationships. I’d thought they’d last forever. I was naïve.
I will always be grateful to my high school friends for ushering me through that period of time in my life. But do I have regrets? Of course. I’ll always wonder what would have been if I had made some different choices in my life, fostered different relationships, and I’ll always wonder what I missed out on.
But God has a way of being faithful and bringing us back around. It’s funny isn’t it, the way that life moves in cycles? But it’s a cycle that slowly creeps forward, so that at the end of each rotation, you’re somehow almost back to where you were, and yet you’ve managed to learn a little something along the way.
Do you know what I’ve learned along the way? Do you know which relationships made the most impact? The quiet ones.
The ones that seemed, at one point, to have slipped entirely away. The ones that seemed too distant to matter anymore. The ones that time and age and the distresses of life should have reasonably whisked away. It’s the ones that never should have made it in the first place. Yet, quietly they’ve snuck back into my life and back into my heart.
I don’t know when it happened, but I’m overwhelmingly joyful that it did. Their voice, their support, is what makes each new day and new opportunity possible, and what drives me to see the true source of my self-worth and beauty. Somehow, they decided that my life was worth their breath and worth their words.
So here’s to the quiet ones…who have something to say after all.
To my quiet friends, thank you: H.C., J.M., and C.M.