to all the quiet girls,

I see you. Yes, you.

Sitting silent between two conversations, whipping your head back and forth with each one, waiting for your chance, your nudge, your invitation.

Not knowing when’s the time to speak up because every time you’ve tried before, someone’s always beaten you to it.

Feeling like you might actually have something good to share, but unable to make it escape your lips. And then – the moment – gone.

Finding confidence and contentment in knowing that’s “just who you are”. Or, at least, trying to convince yourself of it.

Inadvertently hurting the ones you love because what you did or didn’t say or do was misread.

Remembering how you missed out on your first big job opportunity because you weren’t as outgoing as the pretty girl interviewed before you.

Being told to smile more, or always asked “what’s wrong?”. You and I know you were just in your head, and that’s okay. It’s what we do.

Wracking your brain, wondering why you always seem to be at fault.

Forgetting what you were thinking about before, as new thoughts rise up and fall all the time, and you keep most of them to yourself.

Crying alone in the bathroom, afraid you’ll never change, sick and tired of being steamrolled all the time. You can feel your backbone taking shape.

Believe me, you will have days that you feel left out, misunderstood, and forgotten. You’ll wonder what it is you can do. You’ll say you’ll try harder next time – and you will. But if you’re anything like me, you won’t feel the difference and you’ll wonder why you even bothered.

There will be nights you can’t sleep because you’re rehashing in your mind over and over what you could’ve said to change this or that. You’ll remember that everyone has those nights, and there’s nothing any of us can do to change it now. So go to sleep, quiet girl, and have faith in tomorrow.

I wish I could tell you it gets better just like that, but I don’t know that I can. Because I’m writing this letter as much for you as for me. So that maybe we can be in this together.

I wish I could tell you a magical change would occur, or that “These 1-2-3 steps will fix you in 30 days or less!”. But apparently there’s not a prescription for that just yet.

What I can tell you for sure is that somehow, some way, someone will see you. They’ll give you a second chance at that first impression…and then probably a third and fourth.

I can tell you that the right people will come into your life and will love you just the way you are. They’ll see it in your eyes when you’re ready to speak, and they’ll give you that space that you need to do it.

You will have very good days.

You will have very bad days.

Not all of them will center around whether you’re quiet or loud.

You will have deep and meaningful conversations where you realize that someone you thought only knew good days, often has bad days, too.

You will realize you are human.

You will realize you are imperfectly human.

You will learn that others appreciate your quiet nature, and find some kind of solace in it.

You will learn you were made this way for a reason.

You will transfer that silent energy into written words – or art – or good deeds. You will bring goodness to other people.

Because being quiet does not make you bad. It does not make you weak.

But it does make you listen.

And you know better than anyone that being heard is all that any of us really wants, anyways.

Quiet girl, you have a place in this world. A very important place.

And even when it seems like you are all alone on this great journey seeking it out, please know that it is out there seeking you, too. Your time is coming, quiet girl, and it will be greater than you ever imagined. I promise.