I’m always telling myself to stop talking. You’re an idiot, I think. You don’t know the basic principles of Marxism. You have a poor grasp of history. You haven’t read enough classic literature and you can’t pronounce half of the words you’ve read. I tell myself this, and yet I’m talking here more than I usually talk. It’s making me very frustrated and very uncomfortable.

I’m talking way too much in class. I should probably tell you that this means I talk about once a day, but that is way too much for me. Every time I speak I die a little inside, because I say something stupid or incoherent, or am unable to respond to a teacher’s follow-up question.

I was a blubbering idiot in French class the other day. Our teacher brought up Disney movies and told us to discuss how the patriarchy influenced the main characters, and I couldn’t stop arguing with this one girl. My grammar was poor and I kept throwing in English words because I didn’t have the vocabulary to say what I wanted to say, but I could not stop talking. I hated myself for that.

The day before, our English class was discussing The Great Gatsby. As people made their points, the professor was writing them on the board. I raised my hand and opened my mouth, but all the ideas that were so clear in my head and my notes came out as an incoherent mess. After I was done, the teacher didn’t write anything on the board. I swore I’d never speak again.

I’m still not talking in my first-year seminar class—the one where my teacher told me I needed to speak up more. But I can’t—I’m too nervous. If I spoke, my teacher would know I’m an inarticulate fool and be disappointed.

I don’t want to feel nervous about speaking in class anymore. I’m trying to use each time I speak as an opportunity for growth, but usually I just beat myself up afterward and feel like I’ll never be able to do it again.

This entry reads a little bit peculiarly to me. I feel weird. I feel dark and lonely and large and melancholy and very nervous. I’m having trouble saying what I want to say here the same way I have trouble expressing myself in my classes. I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I want to feel clear-headed and be articulate, but I think it’s going to take me a long time to get there. It’s going to take more writing and a lot more speaking and generally more living to get there. ♦