Its hard to imagine that I used to be the quiet one. I used to sit and observe others... how fake they could get, how they suppressed their own thoughts, and how they kept themselves as bottled up as I did. Throughts raced through my mind about how people were disloyal to their friends, I learned to read through peoples body language. I knew that people had secret signals to each other.
I used to be afraid that my friends would leave me if I spoke up. Writing was my outlet... and even then I felt unsatisfied with my self-expression because I had to disguise my genuine thoughts and emotions under metaphors. Metaphors so complex that no one could really understand my stance. I just left them confused with a bunch of words that rhymed... and just sounded nice.
I don't remember the moment where I found my voice. I can't pinpoint one instance when I realized that voicing your opinion actually gets you somewhere. I just looked back and said... "damn, I talk a lot."
Part of it is my understanding of the power of words. When people speak, write something down... they do it for a reason. They want to be heard. They have something to share. Words mean something.They want to connect.... to learn, to absorb, to stimulate, to respond. Thats what communication is.
I speak up now. I raise my hand in class. I open my mouth when I know I have a valid complaint. I get in my boss' face about common courtesy... I tell my teachers when I disagree... I'm not afraid anymore. Constantly, in my mind, I feel like I'm going to die soon... or people around me will die... without having the chance to engage in genuine communication. Thats why I speak. Thats why I listen. Words can last forever.... I remember my grandmother by the words she said to me and the way she communicated. Think about one of your favorite memories... wasn't some sort of communication involved?
My advice-- SPEAK. Be bold. Be heard... and you will last forever.