What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?
What’s wrong with your voice? by Sophie
My voice is still a mystery to me. Why? My voice changes tones when I’m really happy or very angry. My tone changes when I meet new people or hold camaraderie with close persons. My tone change when I speak different languages. English. Cantonese. Spanish.
I never really thought much about it until I was at my friend’s house warming party. I was still in elementary school then. I was playing, laughing, and opening my mouth – talking. My friend’s cousin asked me “what’s wrong with your voice?” and “You sound like a boy.” I realized I sounded like that because I was comfortable in my friend’s house. My body, my voice was relaxed. I talked so much beforehand that it strained my throat when I talked. Therefore, my voice was lower. My face reddened. I was embarrassed.
I now think back to my old elementary school. It was after school and most students and teachers left. I had stayed behind with two classmates because we wanted to play longer. (Or was it we wanted to help the janitor clean classrooms because at the end of the year there was suppose to be prized given out to the most hours – there was never any prizes in the end.) Anyway, I remember the sky was super gray. There was no sun in the sky. Most likely it was going to rain. It was so relaxing and we were so happy.
It started to drizzle. So right there I screamed my lungs out with my arms open to the sky. Why? I have no idea. But it felt nice. I’m remembering this because I screamed really loud. Did I wreck my voice back then? Did I scream so loud that it injured my vocal cords? I still don’t know. Now I realized, it was pretty inconsiderate to the neighbors living near the elementary school.
Every time I meet new people, my voice would be high. It was cringe worthy high sometimes. I guess it was probably my way of saying I’m shy. Yet, honestly I was not shy. I was cautious. To others, they probably thought I was shy. This was because when my voice was high, it was like swallowing bread without water. My throat and mouth was dry. My throat still rang from the aftermath of the words spewing out my mouth at such a high volume. I knew I had the ability to jump my voice lower. You know, to change the tone in my voice. Midway through the conversations I would think “If I lowered my voice now, would it be weird?”
When we did video projects and we had to act out scenes, I was astonished as how weird my voice sounded. Videos with my voice and many others would be shown in in middle school and high school. I wonder did people see how weird my voice was?
I would think, is that really my voice? I sound so weak. I sound so vulnerable. I sound so misplaced.
Do I have a real voice? Something steady, confident, unchanging, normal.
Every time I open my mouth. I’m cautious. It makes me sad to have the tone of my voice be measured. It measured the familiarity I had with people I talked to. It measured my confidence. It measured my assurances, my apologies, and my sincerity.
Will I get over it? Did I already get over it? Who knows? Sometimes, I stop myself from talking and wonder –What voice will come out next?