I haven’t posted anything at all in the month of December. I actually haven’t posted since Thanksgiving. It isn’t because I haven’t had anything to say. Quite the opposite. I have had a great deal to say. But I was silenced.
You may be asking yourself… Who or what is this force that might get Farheen to be quiet?
The answer to this question is… Farheen. I have silenced myself. As always, I do these things to myself.
I have had heavy thoughts in my mind as of late. These heavy thoughts are silvery and liquid like mercury and like to escape the confines of my mind by squeezing out of the corners of my eyes and trickling their way to freedom down my cheeks, only to land, emancipated, on the ground beneath my feet.
I typically don’t care what people think of me when I don’t know them. I have never been afraid of strangers. Because in my heart I know the ones who try to judge me don’t matter. I have been known to burst into song while walking down the street or in the middle of a Target. When I drive and there is a song I like on the radio, I sing along and car dance. I know I get funny looks, stares and people laughing at me. I don’t care. Truly.
To a certain extent, I am not afraid to make a spectacle of myself if it will help someone I care about. Anyone who has seen my version of Riverdance or the ill-fated version of Stomp will attest to that fact. If you are sad and I can make you smile, I’ll take one for the team. Its how I roll.
But when someone I know and cares about me judges me things change. There have been some recent judgement calls made and I have been quiet because of it. Implications that I am a weak person. A statement made that I am too needy. Having heard these comments, I withdrew into myself. I needed to evaluate the statements and reflect on how true these judgements are. As I considered, these past couple of weeks, I was reminded of something that happened when I was a little girl.
I was a Girl Scout for a very brief period when I was young. My parents, immigrants from Pakistan, signed me up to be a Brownie. I still to this day have no idea why. But I was happy. I would get to talk to other girls and have friends and make things with popsicle sticks and be a part of something.
Yet I wasn’t a part of it. I went to the meetings and the other girls excluded me. Whoever heard of a brown Brownie? I could feel their exclusion of me and it hurt. I wasn’t as chatty as I am now. People find it hard to believe I am shy. I am truly. It has taken a great deal for me to not seem shy. But back then? I would be silent. I was involved with the Girl Scouts for about four months. My experience with them culminated in a summer trip to Santa’s Village, an amusement park that is now closed. We were all piled into a station wagon and off we went. This trip was important. The Scout Moms had offered a prize you see. The girl who was quietest on the trip to the park and back would win a special prize. I won the prize without trying. A box of soap crayons that I would have gladly traded for a friend I could chatter with. In addition, when I brought the soap crayons home, my parents were perplexed by them. What do you do with soap that kids can draw on themselves with? Soap, baths, showers aren’t for fun. They are to get clean. Crazy American people who come up with frivolous ideas like soap crayons. Proof that Farheen doesn’t need to be a Brownie.
Judgement has always silenced me. And for a while it silenced me this time too. But I have found my voice.
I don’t need to tell anyone how strong I am. I know what I have seen and experienced. I don’t need to convince anyone that I am not a needy person. And even if I am, Whitney Houston tells me that people who need people are the luckiest people. I am okay with your judgement because while I may care about you, it isn’t important.
What I do need to say is I hope you enjoyed the silence. Because it may be a while before I shut up again. Tra la la la laaaa!