Before a meeting last week, my coworkers asked me what was hidden behind the wood panel in the conference room. The real answer was boring (a whiteboard), so I told them it hid a portal to another world. What followed was an animated discussion about wardrobes.
Yesterday, one of my coworkers brought up that conversation, replaying it word for word, as though she had forgotten I was there. And it turned out…she really did forget I was there.
We laughed about it. But it got me thinking…this wasn’t the first time someone didn’t know or forgot I was there. Wallflower than I am, I’ve always had a very quiet presence. If I have nothing to say, I won’t say anything.
I never raised my hand in class, never really volunteered to say anything, never raised my voice when friends talked over me. I was just there. Quietly present. Forgotten until someone needed something from me.
In this world, the dog that barks the loudest will get fed first. All political opinions aside, it reminds me of watching Donald Trump and Ben Carson in a debate.
Then again, Taylor Swift isn’t as loud or ostentatious as, say, Lady Gaga, but both are wildly popular. I guess people all have their ways of being effective. Quiet means nothing. Quietly effective means everything. One doesn’t have to be loud and outlandish to be heard. However, one does have to be willing to step out of one’s comfort zone.
And that’s something I have to work on everyday, especially if I’m to build my writer’s platform and gain more readers. It’s time for me to speak up. To raise my voice in order to be heard over the chatter, not obnoxiously, but in a way that tells people I’m not the wallflower they think I am. It’s time to be fearless.
I am in full bloom, and my presence will be known.