Once upon a time I was a shrinking violet. *hold the gasp* I don’t think this is something hard to see in me, but I could be wrong. You may or may not have met me in person. I’m counting on most of you fall in the latter category. Anyway, I not only relate to the book to a certain degree, but I relate to the movie, Radio Rebel. I still need to read the book to see how closely the movie follows it, but the basic idea of Tara being a girl who is extremely shy and really quiet I’m sure remains the same. She can talk like a normal person in front of her close friends, but when it comes to participating in class, there’s no way she’ll raise her hand. And if she comes face to face with her crush, forget it. No words are going to come out, period. That was me starting in grade school and all the way through high school. I changed a lot post-high school.
Yet just the character of Tara is not what stood out to me. There’s a part at the resolution of “Radio Rebel” where Tara makes a speech to her senior class that she is the girl “so afraid of saying the wrong thing she says nothing instead.” Yes! That is so me, I thought, as soon as she said that. Specifically I was thinking of crushes. They came to mind first because I typically act like that around a guy I’m interested in. I’m a nervous person in general, but when I’m around my crush, I want to say so many things that I end up saying nothing at all for fear that I will mess up or sound dumb or whatever. But then again, now that I think about it, this also applied to me when I was in school and we were required to raise our hand to answer questions and such. I would always be terrified to be called on by the teacher for fear that I would say something stupid and embarrass myself in front of the class.
But sometimes we need to speak up, even if we start out stuttering. We may miss getting together with people we like, making a new friend, or sharing a smart idea with the class. And in some cases, we miss saving a life. Let’s not miss out. Let’s reduce the number of regrets we have.