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I'm Thankful For Bravery

Joined: 11/13/2010
Posts: 1
“Hayley, you’re so quiet! You shouldn’t be so shy, speak up!” my friend Taylor laughed. Gee, haven’t heard that one before. I could feel my eyes rolling and a plastered on my smile. Now to you, that might seem a bit rude, but all my life I had been “the quiet girl” or “the shy one”. Practically everyday I look myself in the mirror and say “Today’s the day Hayley! You’re going to be the loudest one out of everybody, and you’re going to talk to Tyler in science. You can do this, no sweat!” and everyday I strut confidently onto campus, walk up to my friends and say… nothing. It’s not that I’m scared, or that I’m intimidated. I just have nothing that I feel like I can talk about. I heard the bell ring for class and ambled off to my first period English class. As I took my seat Mrs. Swearengen commenced with her lecture, “…are no limits. There really are no rules in writing. You will feel incredibly liberated; Write down your thoughts somewhere, even if no one reads it. Personally, I often don’t even know how I’m feeling until I express it somehow…”
The bell rang and I strolled out to break. I took a seat and began talking to my friend Maddy. All of a sudden, “You’re so quiet! Not that it’s a bad…” There it is. I wasn’t even listening to what she was saying, I couldn’t! All I could hear was a tremendous roaring in my ears. So quiet..the shy one..speakup! I couldn’t take being the quiet one for one more second. Suddenly then I heard my teacher’s words in my ear: I often don’t even know how I’m feeling until I express it somehow. “That’s it!” I shouted “I’m done, sick, tired, exhausted, finished, through with being shy! Why should I be? I shouldn’t be afraid to talk to my best friends! I’m not afraid!” I was well aware I looked insane, but I couldn’t stop the words from coming. “I won’t, refuse, will not be silent for one more second!” Maddy gaped at me. I could feel the embarrassment and shame creeping from my toes to my torso when she shouted, “Wow, Hayley, I’m so proud of you!” She shouted, hugging me, “Don’t get me wrong, you’re my friend and I love you no matter what, but I’m so happy to see you finally standing up for yourself!”
It felt amazing to finally say what had been floating around in my head for months, or even years, and although I was embarrassed, I felt like I was starting a new chapter, turning over a new leaf. This year I am so thankful I had the courage and faith to speak up for myself. Even walking across campus to my next classroom, I could feel the confidence I never even knew I had showing from the inside out. I almost felt like I was glowing. If I met someone’s eye, I didn’t look away like I usually did, I actually gave them a smile, a smile I didn’t have to paste on my face, and having them return it to me was the best I had felt in months.
I was glowing as I walked into my third period science class. I heard Tyler’s voice from behind me “Hey Hayley, you’re looking good today.” “You too!” I returned. “Hey, want to be lab partners? I’ll even clean the microscope slides!” I asked, beaming.
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