Turn down for what?

Recently a former student asked me, “If you could give your 20 year-old-self advice, what would it be?”

It didn’t take me but a minute…

“Just shut-up and listen.”


Oh, and while we’re at it. 35 year-old-self…

“Just shut-up and listen.”

I win awards like “Most Passionate”

(I hear, “Too emotional”).

I am told, “I love your energy.”

(I hear, “She’s overwhelming).

I’ve heard I’m good in small doses.

(I hear, “She’s good in small doses.”)

I was never the quiet kid. Never that wise student in the back of the room, who sits silently most of the lesson and then raises their hand, blows us away, and doesn’t speak for another three weeks. I’ve never had that kind of restraint.

No. I was the one at the front. The oversharer. Hand flailing Hermione Granger who you may want in your group (because she’ll do all the work) but you secretly loathe.

There are some people who seem perpetually unaffected or unaware of the way their volume affects others. They are content to have eyes on them. Don’t feel the need to question it. Reflect upon it. Obsess about it. Replay events over and over and over in their head wishing they could Just. Shut. Up.

Good news? I’m self-aware.

Bad news? I just can’t seem to help myself.

Good news? I’m not 20 anymore and the dumb shit that comes out of my mouth has been somewhat tempered by time.

Bad news? Dumb shit still makes its way out.

Turn down for lizards

Now, look. I know there are a lot of upsides to all of this energy. It seems to play well with dogs, children, and (most) teenagers. And I know A LOT of you have never suffered any ill effects (aside from some minor hearing loss) from the constant barrage of ideas, excitement, and silly dancing.

But to those of you who I’ve accidentally bowled over with my enthusiasm…I’m really sorry. And if I did it repeatedly? I’m sorry, sorry, sorry.

You can’t learn from what you can’t hear. There are so many lessons lingering in the minds and hearts of our world’s introverts and the boisterous idiots (like yours truly) drown it all out.

My soulmate Megan Twiddy called us “full on people.” That’s what I strive for. I am in pursuit of my fullest self.

NOT my loudest self.




Sorry, sorry, sorry.


2 thoughts on “Turn down for what?”

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