When I was six years old, I gave ballet a shot.
I use the word “shot” intentionally, because every stomp of my flat foot on the floor ricocheted through the tiny studio like a bullet. I shook the mirrors. I hummed along to the piano at full volume as I pliéd.
It turns out, I can’t be quiet. Just can’t do it. It’s impossible for me in the same way that other people struggle to curl their tongue or enjoy reality television.
I’ve accepted that there are some things I’ll just have to deal with in life as a result of my unfortunate affliction. And if you’re a serial loud person like me, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about
1. You literally cannot whisper.
Shout-whispering is your only option. And your shout-whisper is the same volume as other people’s normal voices.
2. You go out of your way to avoid places where you’re expected to be quiet.
The cinema, the library, that stupid ‘quiet’ carriage on the train, any antique shop, any events involving the elderly or sleeping babies.
3. You’ve been called the name of every loud animal under the sun, and none of them are flattering.
My mum’s nickname for me is “the elephant.” That inspired a lot of confidence in my teenage years.
4. When you’re coming home from a night out, you wake everyone else in the house without fail.
And the cat. And the neighbours. And their cat.
5. You often shake the floorboards when you walk.
It’s an earthquake! It’s an approaching hurricane! Nope, it’s just you walking past your colleague’s desk on your way back from lunch.
6. You sing along to every song at full volume, even if you don’t know the actual words.
Whatever. You got the gist of it.
7. Nobody will ever give you a microphone.
“You have such good projection already!”
8. People still tell you to use your ‘inside voice’.
I AM A GROWN WOMAN! DO NOT TELL ME TO USE MY INSIDE VOICE LIKE YOU WOULD AN ERRANT CHILD! Oh, god, I am talking quite loudly now, aren’t I? Did everyone in the whole restaurant just stop their conversations to listen to me? Should we leave?
9. You sometimes miss what other people say to you because the sound of your own voice drowns out their words.
This is slightly embarrassing, but I genuinely couldn’t hear you over the foghorn that is my own voice.
10. The more you try to be quiet, the louder you are.
If you try to tiptoe, you fall over into a china cabinet and break six plates.
11. You can’t stop being loud, so you’re just embracing it as a hilarious personality quirk.
Fellow loud people: anything else you’d like to add?