I used to be quiet. Raised by a dominating Asian mother, I was taught that “good girls didn’t shout”. We weren’t loud. We didn’t do outdoor things. I was a shy, anxious, terrified child. I almost never raised my hand. I was never chosen for games, rarely called on, sat in the back of the class hoping to go unnoticed. While I was comfortable with my few friends, I was terrified of groups and crowds. I detested any sort of public speaking-to the point where I’d throw a fit and cry so hard that the teacher would let me out of it... I rarely spoke my opinion-I rarely fought and debated if I thought a classmate’s statement was wrong. I was reprimanded in my early years anytime I was loud-so I was taught quickly, to not take up space. This world had no place for me.
In college, I found my voice a little more. I was supported-I started to speak a little louder.
And after college, I realized, I didn’t need to be apologetic. I got kicked out of a meeting once for laughing too loud-unprofessional? Probably, yes. But I won’t apologize, for having found a way to stand tall. Climbing helped-I found faith in myself. I found support from others, camaraderie in similar emotions and events we struggled through together. Similar perspectives on life, and how messed up society has come to be. I learned how to shout about the good left in the world. I learned to be unapologetically loud. I don’t restrain myself now-I don’t try to stifle my laughter, or my objections to things I find morally wrong. I’m not afraid to take up space. The outdoors are just as much my place to occupy-so you will not quiet me. Your criticisms, and doubts and questioning? They won’t silence me. Your disgust and disregard and dismissal of my anger and passion, just because I’m a women? Yea. That won’t stop me. We are allowed to have energy. We are all entitled to emotions-to anger, to passion, to fear.
So don’t apologize for being loud. The world needs more people willing to speak the f*** up, when they view something wrong. Less complacency-more change. (Inspired by recent podcasts and posts #fortheloveofclimbing @inheadlights and @onechicktravels thank you)