“Why are you so loud?”
I have been asked this question many times in my life.
People have also said to me: “You are the loudest Asian I know of. Most Asians are quiet and timid. But you are loud. Really loud.”
My response, “That’s right! And, damn proud of it!”
So, yes, I admit it. I know it. I am loud. Really loud. If I could count the number of times someone asked me why or commented that my voice was really loud then I would be a filthy rich millionaire. I was told even more times to soften and lower the volume of my voice. No matter how hard I tried to lower the volume and lessen the projection of my voice, my voice would turn up yet again. Alas, I can’t help it. I can’t help being loud.
I was not always loud. Or, maybe I was, but then I got even louder throughout my life. Although I always sat front and center like the diligent teacher’s pet I was, I was that student that would not ask questions or speak my mind. I was fearful that what I said aloud would be deemed as stupid. I was always loud in the volume of my voice, and would not say what I thought. Then the dial of my voice was turned up and catapulted when I was in middle school and high school where I would dictate classroom lessons and lectures to one of my friends who was hearing impaired. In college, everything began to change slowly yet surely. I listened and heard. I asked. I spoke. I got loud.
When I somehow fell into the world of public speaking and presentations, my face crinkled up in dislike for the microphone. Why use a microphone when I could use my own voice and had the power to make my voice loud? The first thing I would say before picking up and leaning into the microphone was: “Can you hear me? I have been told I am loud!” Audience members chimed in that they heard me loud and clear. I ended up pushing the microphone to the side as a mere unused prop, depending on my own voice and volume. I got even louder.
Some may say that I suffer from a Napoleana complex. After all, do you ever notice that it is the short and small who tend to be REALLY loud? I think because we are closer to gravity and want to make sure it is the world at large and high up that hears us rather than the ground beneath us that we walk on and do not want to be walked all over on. As my sister says, “I watch out for small and short people. They are ferocious!”
But, it is not just about my short stature or the height of anyone. It is that I demand to be heard. I need to be listened to. Above all else, I strive to speak volumes with how I live my life loud. Mind you, living and being loud is not the actual and literal volume of high or low, but it is about the volumes of living your life as you want to in the highs and lows. No one is born being loud. You learn to be loud and about loudness in the lessons that we live through and to tell about and share. What is the point of living if you cannot live it loud?
Living loud lies in the volumes of the ways we live our lives throughout the highs and lows of life. No one is going to be loud for you. No one is going to speak up for you. No one is going to listen or hear you. No one is going to live your life for you except for you and only and solely you. Make some noise with your voice and your life, because, honestly, no one is going to do or say anything on your behalf. Are you loud? Was there a point that you got loud? When was that time you got loud? Are you living your life LOUD?
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,